LONDON, Oct. 11 (Reuters) – China has won the battle over artificial intelligence with the United States and is heading for global dominance because of its technological advancements, the former Pentagon software chief told the Financial Times.
China, the world’s second largest economy, is likely to dominate many of the major emerging technologies within a decade, especially artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and genetics, according to assessments by Western intelligence agencies.
Nicolas Chaillan, the Pentagon’s first chief software officer to resign in protest at the slow pace of technological transformation in the US military, said the lack of response put the United States at risk.
“We won’t have a competitive fight against China in 15 to 20 years. At this point, it’s already a foregone conclusion; it’s already over in my opinion,” he told the newspaper. “Whether it takes a war or not is a bit anecdotal.”
China would dominate the future of the world, controlling everything from media stories to geopolitics, he said.
Chaillan blamed slow innovation, the reluctance of US companies like Google (GOOGL.O) to partner with the state on AI, and extensive ethical debates about the technology.
Google was not immediately available for comment outside office hours.
Chinese companies, Chaillan said, were forced to work with their governments and made “huge investments” in AI without regard for ethics.
He said US cyber defenses in some government departments were at “kindergarten” level.
Chaillan announced his resignation in early September, saying military officials were repeatedly put in charge of cyber initiatives for which they had no experience.
A Department of the Air Force spokesman said U.S. Air Force secretary Frank Kendall had discussed with Chaillan his recommendations for future software development with Chaillan and thanked him for his contributions, the FT said.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Robert Birsel
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