China has made no secret of its ambitions to lead the world in artificial intelligence, nor of the military and geopolitical advantage it hopes to gain from this rapidly advancing technology. A closer look at Beijing’s whole-of-nation AI strategy shows the challenge to the United States — and suggests what America must do lest it be eclipsed in this latest round of great-power competition.
China’s vision came into focus over the summer with the release of the New Generation AI Development Plan, which articulatesan ambitious agenda to “lead the world” in the field. Chinese leaders, no longer content to copy Western technologies, are aiming to become the world’s “premier AI innovation center,” advancing an “innovation-driven” strategy for civilian and military development.
The implementation of this agenda will be a whole-of-government endeavor involving 15 central agencies and a growing number of local governments. Their efforts will foster the growth of a robust AI industry and ecosystem and pour billions into longer-term research and development of next-generation technologies. The plan will tap the dynamism of national tech champions, such as Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and iFlytek, that have been leading China’s AI revolution.
Read the full commentary in Defense One.
More from CNAS
PodcastSome foresight about the future of foresight
Trying to predict the future is a timeless and time-consuming pursuit. Artificial Intelligence is increasingly being enlisted to the cause, but so too are “super-forecasters”...
By Michael Horowitz
PodcastArtificial intelligence, coming to a battlefield near you ...
In this fast take episode of Military Matters, Jack Murphy talks with Paul Scharre about how AI will affect the future of simulation training and beyond. Listen to the full c...
By Paul Scharre
TranscriptTranscript from Artificial Intelligence and the Role of Confidence-Building Measures
On March 5, 2021, the CNAS Technology and National Security Program hosted a virtual discussion on AI and the role of confidence-building measures. This event is a part of the...
By Paul Scharre, Helen Toner, Michael Horowitz & Kerstin Vignard
CommentaryA Solid Plan to Compete with China in Artificial Intelligence
This report is about more than AI....
By Megan Lamberth & Martijn Rasser