China has won the artificial intelligence (AI) battle with the US and is heading toward global dominance because of its technological advances, the Pentagon’s former software chief told the Financial Times.
China is likely to dominate many of the key emerging technologies, particularly AI, synthetic biology and genetics, within a decade or so, according to Western intelligence assessments.
Nicolas Chaillan, the Pentagon’s first chief software officer who resigned in protest against the slow pace of technological transformation in the US military, said the failure to respond was putting the US at risk.
“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,” Chaillan told the newspaper. “Whether it takes a war or not is kind of anecdotal.”
China is set to dominate the future of the world, controlling everything from media narratives to geopolitics, he said.
Chaillan blamed sluggish innovation, the reluctance of US companies such as Google to work with the US government on AI and extensive ethical debates over the technology.
Google was not immediately available for comment.
Chinese companies are obliged to work with the Chinese government and are making “massive investment” in AI without regard to ethics, Chaillan said.
US cyberdefenses in some US government departments are at “kindergarten level,” he said.
Chaillan announced his resignation at the beginning of last month, saying that military officials were repeatedly put in charge of cyberinitiatives for which they lacked experience.
A US Department of the Air Force spokesperson said US Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall had discussed with Chaillan his recommendations for the department’s software development following his resignation and thanked him for his contributions, the Financial Times said.
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