February 12, 2018

As China Marches Forward on A.I., the White House Is Silent

Featuring Elsa B. Kania

Source: The New York Times

Journalist Cade Metz

SAN FRANCISCO — In July, China unveiled a plan to become the world leader in artificial intelligence and create an industry worth $150 billion to its economy by 2030.

To technologists working on A.I. in the United States, the statement, which was 28 pages long in its English translation, was a direct challenge to America’s lead in arguably the most important tech research to come along in decades. It outlined the Chinese government’s aggressive plan to treat A.I. like the country’s own version of the Apollo 11 lunar mission — an all-in effort that could stoke national pride and spark agenda-setting technology breakthroughs.

The manifesto was also remarkably similar to several reports on the future of artificial intelligence released by the Obama administration at the end of 2016.

“It is remarkable to see how A.I. has emerged as a top priority for the Chinese leadership and how quickly things have been set into motion,” said Elsa Kania, an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security who helped translate the manifesto and follows China’s work on artificial intelligence. “The U.S. plans and policies released in 2016 were seemingly the impetus for the formulation of China’s national A.I. strategy.”

Read the full article in The New York Times.

  • Elsa B. Kania

    Adjunct Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Elsa B. Kania is an Adjunct Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, where she focuses on Chinese defense innovation...