February 10, 2024

The rising tide of sovereign AI

In an interview late last year, Nvidia Corp. CEO Jensen Huang declared that the world is going through a second wave of artificial intelligence.

The first one, he argued, was driven by the private sector – companies across the tech industry spectrum, from large tech multinationals to nascent startups. A major catalyst for the second wave, he argued, is government engagement in AI and the “recognition that every region and every country needs to build their sovereign AI.” Only in this way, he suggested, can nation-states serve their specific language and cultural needs and leverage their particular business strengths in the age of AI.

Governments embarking on the strategy are thinking about AI as infrastructure rather than just a problem to solve with laws.

It’s not the first time a leading tech CEO has called for sovereign AI. IBM Corp. CEO Arvind Krishna has made a similar call to action: “I am a firm believer that every country ought to have some sovereign capability on artificial intelligence, including large language models for AI,” Krishna stated, encouraging the Indian government – and presumably others – to set up national AI computing centers and common data sets for specific use cases.

So what precisely is “sovereign AI”? The concept is an offshoot of digital sovereignty – the idea that because digital technology shapes an ever-increasing number of significant political, economic, military and societal trends and outcomes, controlling such technology is critical to defending and promoting the national interest. (Certain forms of digital sovereignty have many critics, including the U.S. government, which advocates for an alternative approach called digital solidarity.)

Read the full article from Silicon Angle.

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