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Strangelove

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11 Oct, 2021 08:30 / Updated 1 hour ago

‘It’s already over’: US has lost AI battle to China, Pentagon’s former software chief admits

Humanoid robot Sophia, developed by Hanson Robotics, paints on a plastic plate in Hong Kong, China. © Reuters / Tyrone Siu

China is going to dominate the world through its advances in AI and other emerging technologies, and the US has already missed out on a chance to prevent it, the Pentagon’s recently resigned software chief has said.

“We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion,” Nicolas Chaillan told the Financial Times in his first interview since his shock resignation last month.

Chaillan, who was the first chief software officer for the US Air Force and oversaw the Pentagon’s efforts to boost cybersecurity over the past three years, announced his resignation in September in protest against the sluggish pace of technological progress in the American military.

“Whether it takes a war or not is kind of anecdotal,” but China, which has prioritized artificial intelligence, machine learning and cyber capabilities, is on course for global domination and control of everything from media narratives to geopolitics, he insisted.

Washington might be spending three times more than Beijing on defense, but this money is being used in the wrong areas, said the French-born tech entrepreneur, who became a US citizen in 2016. AI and other emerging technologies are more crucial for America’s future than massive and high-budget hardware projects like fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets, he argued.
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One thing holding the US back is the ongoing debate on the ethics of artificial intelligence, while Chinese companies are devoting “massive investment” to AI without a second thought, according to Chaillan.

Chinese firms are also actively cooperating with their government on AI, but US companies, like Google, are reluctant to work with the American authorities, he added.

The former software chief also sounded the alarm over the cyber defenses of US government agencies, saying that they were at “kindergarten level” in some areas.

In the coming weeks, Chaillan plans to testify before Congress in relation to the issue to attract more attention to the danger posed to the US by China’s technological advancements.

Chaillan's resignation made a splash after he announced it in a bombshell letter in early September. He complained that bureaucracy and lack of funding had prevented him from doing his job properly, saying that he was fed up with "hearing the right words without action."

The Pentagon was "setting up critical infrastructure to fail" by appointing military officials with no expertise in the field in charge of cyber initiatives, the 37-year-old argued. "We would not put a pilot in the cockpit without extensive flight training; why would we expect someone with no IT experience to be close to successful?"
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He kept criticizing the Department of Defense after his departure, claiming during a CyberSatGov conference earlier this week that American national security satellite providers were unable to develop "at the speed of relevance" finding themselves stuck in the Pentagon's ecosystem.

NASA was also grilled, with Chaillan saying that it was "a little bit of a disgrace that we had to wait for SpaceX to bring a capability to allow us to send Americans back to the ISS and not depend on the Russians." Souyz rockets, launched by Russia's space agency Roscosmos, have been delivering NASA astronauts to orbit from the shutdown of the shuttle program in 2011 till 2020 when SpaceX developed capabilities to send humans to space.
 

hashtagpls

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I'd be cautious about such premature proclamations of "surrender monkey defeatist talk" from the anglos; usually, they come out with defeatist shit like this with intent to get Congress to pour more money into anglo american "wunderwaffe". I'll believe america truly accepts their defeat when they allow Huawei into the anglosphere and allow Chinese firms to buy high tech Us companies.
 

ougoah

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I'd be cautious about such premature proclamations of "surrender monkey defeatist talk" from the anglos; usually, they come out with defeatist shit like this with intent to get Congress to pour more money into anglo american "wunderwaffe". I'll believe america truly accepts their defeat when they allow Huawei into the anglosphere and allow Chinese firms to buy high tech Us companies.

Agreed. Count me as skeptical as well. No way such things are done with such pomp and circumstance.

US cyberwarfare capabilities at kindergarten level? Nice try at deception. We know this isn't true. They wouldn't be able to perform cyber attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities with so much ease... to say the least.

There is no final point for tech race but maybe we can count certain things like technological singularity (I know I know), general AI, or any impressive and revolutionary enough technology that allows the wielder to dominate over all. For example the first A bomb.

The rest is like they are claiming, unstoppable. Basically with China's progress, we are witnessing a cannon ball in slow motion. We can already predict its trajectory with all launch parameters given and observed. Not much can be done to stop it, true. But this is a case of US crying loudly for attention, unity, funding and achieved via creating a scary effigy of a new adversary.

China should avoid paying too much attention to these mind games and plenty of it directed for the purposes of motivating their own internal political forces.
 

horse

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I'd be cautious about such premature proclamations of "surrender monkey defeatist talk" from the anglos; usually, they come out with defeatist shit like this with intent to get Congress to pour more money into anglo american "wunderwaffe". I'll believe america truly accepts their defeat when they allow Huawei into the anglosphere and allow Chinese firms to buy high tech Us companies.

China used AI to do the contact tracing during the pandemic.

Everyone had a phone, and that had a colour code, of red, yellow, green.

They grabbed that data, analyzed were the clusters were breaking out, and quarantined quickly specific areas or people, isolating cases.

The AI makes the current Chinese goal of zero covid possible.

No other country in this world is trying to do zero covid, because they do not have the capability or the will.

(A side note, that prejudiced Western people will say they have the tech but not the will here. That is bs. Vaccine passports are okay, but contact tracing is not? I tell you something about Canada. If someone has a venereal disease, the health authorities will ask who had you met before. Then they will follow up. Sure, there are too many cases in the pandemic to follow up, but that is what the AI and tech is for. No one else is doing it, except China.)

So far, this strategy of using AI for contract tracing during the pandemic is working good for China.

(Another side note, those commentators claiming that Chinese will eventually loosen up their covid restrictions, they are wrong, China will not do that, and clearly they do not understand how contact tracing with the AI is working. Seems to me they do not understand what is contact tracing which is methodology from venereal disease, and the technology of AI which people tend to not understand either because tech comprehension is low in society.)

:)
 
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Lethe

Senior Member
I'd be cautious about such premature proclamations of "surrender monkey defeatist talk" from the anglos; usually, they come out with defeatist shit like this with intent to get Congress to pour more money into anglo american "wunderwaffe".

I agree that such apparent defeatism should be viewed with skepticism. But even on a more cautious reading, such sentiments from high-ranking officials with relevant expertise suggest that China's achievements across those fields are seen as sufficiently competitive and worrying as to threaten America's future technological dominance. As I'm sure we are all aware, mainstream American discourse has been and continues to be overwhelmingly scornful and dismissive of China's progress and achievements, so I think such an admission is rather significant.
 
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ZeEa5KPul

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I agree that such apparent defeatism should be viewed with skepticism. But even on a more cautious reading, such sentiments from high-ranking officials with relevant expertise suggest that China's achievements across those fields are seen as sufficiently competitive and worrying as to threaten America's future technological dominance. As I'm sure we are all aware, mainstream American discourse has been and continues to be overwhelmingly scornful and dismissive of China's progress and achievements, so I think such an admission is rather significant.
I'm glad you made this point. The implication of the common view that these American statements are solely to raise money and are inherently deceptive is that China isn't and can never be a competitor to the US.
 

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