September 25, 2018

Sounding an AI alarm in Congress over China

Featuring Paul Scharre

Source: Axios

Journalist Kaveh Weddell

The Trump administration has done little to support artificial intelligence research, experts say. Now, the top members of a House subcommittee are calling for a plan to maintain American leadership in AI.

Why it matters: As the White House idled, China implemented a national plan that is propelling its AI research and implementation. Now, the two countries are in a race to reap the technology's economic and military rewards.

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In a report to be published this morning and shared first with Axios, the leaders of the House Oversight and Reform IT subcommittee — Chairman Will Hurd and Ranking Member Robin Kelly — call on the U.S. government to step it up:

"The United States cannot maintain its global leadership in AI absent political leadership from Congress and the Executive Branch."

The government hasn’t moved with the urgency the situation requires, Hurd, a Republican from Texas, told Axios. China’s rapid AI rise should shock Congress and the White House into action, he and Kelly write.

Just yesterday, the White House convened a summit on quantum computing to work toward a strategy for supporting research in that much less developed field.

The progress contrasted with stagnation in planning for AI, a technology that has been around much longer.

The pair of legislators lay out high stakes for failure. "Whoever masters AI will have an outsize role in this world," said Hurd.

The nation with the strongest AI program will achieve a more efficient economy and improve decision-making in every industry. It will also have access to autonomous weapons, devastating cyberattacks, and supercharged disinformation and propaganda.

And the first mover will get to set vital international norms and standards. "We should make sure how this topic is viewed around the world is based on free-market, western, liberal thinking," Hurd said.


Read the Full Article at Axios

  • Paul Scharre

    Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Paul Scharre is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is author of Army of None: Autonomou...