Ex- Pentagon chief software officer: China better than U.S. at AI capabilities

Ex- Pentagon chief software officer: China better than U.S. at AI capabilities

16. October 2021 0 By Horst Buchwald

Ex- Pentagon chief software officer: China better than U.S. at AI capabilities

Washington, Oct. 16, 2021

Nicholas Chaillan, the Pentagon’s former chief software officer, resigned in September, saying the department was not prioritizing AI and cybersecurity. Now he followed up by claiming that China has already surpassed the U.S. in AI capabilities and will be the leader in 15 to 20 years.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Chaillan said the U.S. “won’t have a competitive chance against China in 15 to 20 years.” China’s lead in AI is now a “done deal,” he said, and the race is “already over.” In his view, some of the U.S. cybersecurity systems are at “kindergarten level.” The pace of development of AI technologies is too slow, he said. Moreover, the debate over AI ethics would make companies like Google reluctant to work with the Pentagon on AI projects.

Meanwhile, China continues to make progress without thinking about the ethical consequences of AI. Chaillan announced he would testify before Congress soon.

Background: China counts AI among the “frontier technologies” it plans to focus on in the next five years and beyond. The country aims to become an AI superpower by 2030. The country is doing well in AI, in part due to its large population and the amount of data it generates.According to the China Artificial Intelligence Development Report 2020, 390,000 AI patent applications have been filed in the past decade, accounting for 75% of global filings.

In March, the U.S. National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence released a report highlighting that the U.S. is unprepared to compete in the new age of artificial intelligence and risks falling behind China.

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