U.S., China, and the AI Cold War

When Google’s AlphaGo system beat Chinese players at the game twice, this set off a sort of AI cold war between China and the United States.

On October 18, 2017, China’s president, Xi Jinping, stood in front of 2,300 of his fellow party members, flanked by enormous red drapes and a giant gold hammer and sickle. As Xi laid out his plans for the party’s future over nearly three and a half hours, he named artificial intelligence, big data, and the internet as core technologies that would help transform China into an advanced industrial economy in the coming decades. It was the first time many of these technologies had explicitly come up in a president’s speech at the Communist Party Congress, a once-in-five-years event.

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One thought on “U.S., China, and the AI Cold War

  • Andrew:

    This was a great read; a very well researched and thoughtful analysis of the current and emerging cold war era hostilities and the dwindling range of options to peacefully resolve these to the mutual benefit of both countries and the global community.

    The piece ends, however, with an incomplete set of solutions. Rather than the binary trade war tariffs vs technology embrace between the two parties, both of which will polarise critics across the spectrum of political thought; there is a third option, which may remain moot under the current US administration. Namely the wielding of economic and trade influence of an international alliance to impose targeted sanctions on key sectors in China to curb IP theft, and bring China to the negotiating table to engage constructively as a partner, for its own best interests, in not only AI but supportive infrastructure, like 5G communications capability in collaboration with academic and private sectors in that alliance.

    This was a notable omission in an otherwise brilliantly argued piece. Thanks for sharing.

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