China will lead the world in artificial intelligence if the U.S. fails to spend billions of dollars more on research.
Former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt sounded the alarm bells last week, describing China’s potential leadership in A.I. as a security threat that could lead to “high-tech authoritarianism” worldwide.
“If we don’t act now, in 10 or 20 years we’ll say, ‘How could we have missed this?’” Schmidt said during an online event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) think tank.
Schmidt, now the chair of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Board, says that increasing government funding in A.I. research is crucial because it “can’t be made up by private philanthropy.” The amount of money needed to fund A.I. research projects—those that may not have an immediate impact—is so great that no company (not even Schmidt’s former employer) can provide a substitute.
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