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A.I Arms Race

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Tech Tent: China's AI ambitions | BBC - 19 January 2018

--- Quote ---Tech trade-off

It's hard to think of anyone better qualified to comment on China's AI ambitions than Kai Fu Lee. Born in Taiwan, he was educated in the US and worked as a scientist for both Apple and Microsoft before running Google's China operation. These days he's a Beijing-based venture capitalist investing in Chinese artificial intelligence research.

He tells Tech Tent that China is still behind the United States in areas like autonomous vehicles but is catching up fast - and a more relaxed attitude to regulation may help. He thinks the Chinese government may be less concerned than others about issues such as insurance liability - "cutting through that debate can accelerate the launch of the products".

We have seen China make rapid progress in facial recognition, technology which has caused all sorts of controversy in other countries where privacy is a greater concern. Dr Lee says privacy is always a trade-off with users willing to sacrifice it if they get enough in return: "Chinese consumers are more willing to trade privacy for safety or convenience."

But as the competition over the future of technology hots up there are signs of tension between China and the United States - it's thought that US lawmakers warned mobile operators against allowing Huawei smartphones into the American market.
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The New Arms Race in AI | WSJ

--- Quote ---The officials were particularly impressed by one artificial-intelligence project. The program could scan video from drones and find details that a human analyst would miss—identifying, for instance, a particular individual moving between previously undetected terrorist safe houses.

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The U.S. now finds itself in an escalating AI arms race. Over the past two years, China has announced AI achievements that some U.S. officials fear could eclipse their own progress, at least in some military applications. “This is our Sputnik moment,” said Robert Work, the former deputy secretary of defense who oversaw the Pentagon’s move into the new field.

There should be no doubt that the Chinese military is chasing transformative AI technologies, said retired PLA Maj. Gen. Xu Guangyu, now a senior researcher at the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, a government-supported think tank. “China will not ignore or let slip by any dual-use technology, or any technology at all, that might improve the ability of our military to fight, our awareness, or our ability to attack,” he said.

U.S. universities and corporations remain the world’s leaders in AI and related technologies, and American researchers continue to patent the most important technologies. Chinese experts say that their country is playing catch-up, citing the expertise in the U.S. and the Pentagon’s long history of driving innovation through its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa.

But the Chinese military has moved to copy the Pentagon’s model. Two years ago, the PLA elevated and reorganized its science and technology branch, aiming to turn it into a “Darpa with Chinese characteristics,” according to Tai Ming Cheung, an expert on the Chinese military at the University of California, San Diego. The Chinese government is also building national laboratories in the mold of America’s famed Los Alamos, and because of its deep involvement in industry at every level, Beijing can achieve more integration between military and civilian AI investments.
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China’s AI ambitions are driving US innovation. So what’s America’s hold up? | Defense News

--- Quote ---A technology wave equivalent to the Industrial Revolution, electrification and mechanization, “intelligentization” has the potential to change the way wars are fought, as well as finance, medicine and transportation, said former Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work, now part of the Center for a New American Security’s Artificial Intelligence and Global Security Initiative.

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Still, just this month, Chinese media aired footage of military tests of a fleet of remote-controlled tanks, suggesting they could eventually be paired with AI systems. It was suggested China’s Type 59 tank, produced in large numbers but due to retire, could gain new life as robots.

In January, the U.S. Army announced it was months away from qualifying an autonomous combat vehicle on a gunnery range, the first step toward weaponized robotics. Under the “Wingman” experiment, a specially configured Humvee hit targets with its on-board 7.62mm gun, the Army said.

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A path for America?

Today, America faces questions of how to press ahead: Should it stand up an AI agency or special task force? How does it ensure AI’s use within the laws of armed conflict? How does it prepare for a malicious, superhuman AI?

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Some have argued China’s centralized state-run approach to AI gives it the advantage, as does its looser approach to data and privacy. But Stefanik countered that America’s private sector talent and innovation are superior.
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U.S. artificial intelligence experts address getting capabilities to warfighters | Army Recognition - 17 December 2018 10:40

--- Quote ---The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019 directed the defense secretary to conduct a comprehensive national review of advances in AI relevant to the needs of the military services. Section 238 directed the secretary to craft a strategic plan to develop, mature, adopt, and transition AI technologies into operational use. "Today we are experiencing an explosion of interest in a subfield of AI called machine learning, where algorithms have become remarkably good at classification and prediction tasks when they can be trained on very large amounts of data," Porter told the House panel. Today's AI capabilities offer potential solutions to many defense-specific problems, such as object identification in drone video or satellite imagery and detection of cyber threats on networks, she said.

However, she added, several issues must be addressed to effectively apply AI to national security mission problems. "First, objective evaluation of performance requires the use of quantitative metrics that are relevant to the specific use case," she said. "In other words, AI systems that have been optimized for commercial applications may not yield effective outcomes in military applications."

Challenges, vulnerabilities

DoD is working to address such challenges and vulnerabilities in multiple ways, she said, most of which will leverage the complementary roles of the new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center and the department's research and engineering enterprise.
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[Video] Global race for AI supremacy by CaspianReport


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