April 18, 2023

To Stay Ahead of China in AI, the U.S. Needs to Work with China

An AI gold rush is underway in the private sector in the wake of ChatGPT, but the geopolitical stakes are even greater. The United States and China are vying for global leadership in AI, a technology that is transforming political, economic, and military power. The U.S. currently leads in AI, but China is rapidly catching up and has declared its intent to be the global leader by 2030. To stay ahead of China in AI, the U.S. will need to work with China. The best competitive strategy for the U.S. is to sustain ties with China in areas where the U.S. benefits disproportionately, such as human talent and computing hardware, while severing problematic ties.

The U.S. is in a long-term technology competition with China, but pure decoupling is a weak strategy.

U.S. policymakers have been on a steady path to selectively decoupling the U.S. and Chinese AI ecosystems, which are deeply intertwined. The U.S. government has blacklisted Chinese tech firms using “Entity List” designations and slapped export controls on advanced semiconductor manufacturing equipment and AI chips to China. U.S. companies and universities should not be working with Chinese entities engaged in human rights abuses or working with the military. Yet Washington’s steady ratcheting up of restrictions risks going too far. To preserve America’s technological leadership, the U.S. should maintain the flow of Chinese talent to the U.S. and preserve China’s dependence on U.S. hardware.

Read the full article from Time.

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