Former Pentagon Software Chief Denies Saying America Has ‘Lost Its AI Fight to China’

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The Pentagon’s former software chief has clarified comments he made about China’s artificial intelligence during an interview with the Financial Times, denying that he told the publication America had “lost its AI fight to China.”

Nicolas Chaillan resigned from his role at the Department of Defense early in September, which he said was in protest over the slow pace of technological transformation in the United States’ military, and “because he could not stand to watch China overtake America,” the FT reported.

Chaillan allegedly told the FT that the United States had “already lost its AI fight to China” because of Beijing’s advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cyber capabilities, which could prove detrimental to America’s future.

He also took a swipe at U.S. cyber defenses in some government departments, which he said were at “kindergarten level.”

“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,” the FT cited him as saying.

However, Chaillan now claims that he didn’t specifically state that America had “lost” its AI fight to China, and took to LinkedIn on Oct. 10  to share a statement regarding his alleged comments.

“Friends, for those who saw this article, I want to clarify one thing. I never said we lost. I said as it stands and if we don’t wake up NOW we have no fighting chance to win against China in 15 years,” he wrote.

“I also said that they’re leading in AI and Cyber NOW. Not in 10 years as some BS reports mention. Of course, government-funded reports always tell us we have more time than we have so no one is held accountable for missing the already past due target. Those are just common sense facts. We are competing against 1.5B folks here. Either we are smarter and more agile or we lose. Period,” he added.

By Katabella Roberts

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