As every aspect of modern life becomes more and more digitized, not just the economies of nations, but their sovereign influence will rely more and more on their command of technology, and especially the emerging technology of artificial intelligence (AI).
In the 21st-century information technology revolution, whoever reaches a breakthrough in developing AI will come to dominate the world.
“Artificial intelligence is a resource of colossal power,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said at AI Journey 2019 conference, a major Eastern European forum on AI held in Moscow on Nov. 9, 2019. “Those who will own it will take the lead and will acquire a huge competitive edge.”
Putin expressed his concern about Russia’s role in the artificial intelligence race in the forum—its two competitors, the United States and China, are far ahead of other countries in the AI race.
“We must, and I am confident that we can become one of the global leaders in AI. This is a matter of our future, of Russia’s place in the world,” Putin added.
Though the United States is still the world leader in terms of AI, China is quickly moving to take its place.
On Oct. 16, Nicolas Chaillan, the former chief software officer of the U.S. Air Force, told The Epoch Times that the United States is set to lose the AI race against communist China if Washington doesn’t act fast.
“We’re losing this battle,” Chaillan said. “If we don’t act now and don’t wake up right away … we have no fighting chance in succeeding 10 to 15 years from now.”
Chaillan suggested if the United States doesn’t take aggressive action, it will lose its advantage over communist China in the AI field within ten years.
The U.S. advantages in AI that Chaillan mentioned primarily refer to the military field. However, in the non-military field, China may have the advantage. The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) AI applications such as digital surveillance, big data, and cloud computing have long been used to strengthen its authoritarian rule.
CCP’s ‘New Way’ of Strengthening Authoritarian Rule
The CCP has prioritized AI development in recent years, making it a “key national development strategy.” It has mandated AI into many aspects of ordinary citizen’s life, not only to surveil and control its people but also to use its massive population to spur development.
By Shi Shan and Anne Zhang