In just a few years, China will have a clear lead over the USA in terms of artificial intelligence, according to the resigned software chief of the Pentagon.
In a haunting warning, the recently resigned former Pentagon software chief warned that China will rule the world through its advances in artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies and the US has already missed the chance to prevent this.
Nicolas Chaillan, the first US Air Force software chief to oversee the Pentagon’s cybersecurity efforts for the past three years, announced his resignation in September to protest slow technological advances in the US military. With the Financial Times he spoke about China’s advances in AI.
China is the best way to control everything: media, geopolitics
“In 15 to 20 years we won’t have a chance to hold our own against China. At the moment it’s already a done deal; in my opinion it’s already over, ”Chaillan told the newspaper. “Whether or not it takes a war is kind of an anecdote. But Chinathat has put artificial intelligence, machine learning and cyber capabilities in the foreground, is well on its way to global domination and control everything from media coverage to geopolitics, ”he said.
Washington spends three times as much money on the military as Beijing, but that money is being used in the wrong areas, said the French-born tech entrepreneur, who took US citizenship in 2016. the Artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies are more important for the future of the United States than massive and highly budgeted hardware projects like the fifth generation of the F-35 fighter jets. However, these will become obsolete if the Chinese push ahead with their AI research and send autonomous systems to the battlefields of the future that react faster than a human can at all.
Ethics as an obstacle?
One obstacle for the US – and the West in general – is the ongoing debate on the ethics of artificial intelligence while Chinese companies are actively partnering with their government in the field of artificial intelligence and making massive investments in the field. The Chinese don’t care about any ethical principles as long as the result is right. US companies like Google would be reluctant to cooperate with the US authorities, he added.
US cyber defense is kindergarten level
The former software boss also suggested because of that bad cyber defense in the US authorities alarm in some areas “Kindergarten level” have. In the coming weeks, Chaillan plans to testify before the US Congress on this issue in order to draw more attention to the danger China’s technological advances pose to the US.
Chaillan’s resignation caused quite a stir after he announced it in an open letter in early September. He complained that red tape and lack of resources prevented him from doing his job properly, saying, he is tired of “hearing the right words without something being done”. The Pentagon has “doomed critical infrastructures to failure” by entrusting military officials with no specialist knowledge in this area to lead cyber initiatives, argued the 37-year-old. Chaillan stated: “We wouldn’t put a pilot in the cockpit without extensive flight training; why should we expect someone with no IT experience to be anywhere near successful? “ Sooner or later, the US system will ensure that it fails due to bureaucracy, corruption at all levels of the military apparatus and party-political hiccups on itself.
The academic offspring is also a problem for the United States. So reported Forbes:
“In 2019, 49,498 PhD students were doing their PhD in STEM subjects at Chinese universities, compared to only 33,759 at US universities. Based on current enrollment patterns, the report predicts that the annual number of STEM graduate students in China (77,179) will be nearly double that of the United States (39,959) by 2025 ”
For comparison: in 2000 the USA was still leading with 18,289 PhD students compared to China with 9,038. In 2007 the ratio changed from 34,801 to 26,076 in favor of China.
Of course, this also has an impact on technological development, especially since thousands of Chinese students studying in the United States and so also change the numbers in China’s favor. And that also affects AI development in the United States, especially since not only is knowledge transfer taking place here, but the numbers of US doctoral students also seem significantly larger than they actually are. This is also about potential researchers in the AI field.