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US Unveils New 'Strategy' in AI 'Arms Race' vs China

Feb 18, 2017 12:10 PM EST
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Recent developments in artificial intelligence shows that the U.S. may no longer top the list when it comes to the technology.

While the Pentagon is planning to incorporate AI technology in its operations, reports reveal that China also has some tricks in its sleeves. The country has been asserting its position in the AI arms race by developing intelligent weapons.

To maintain its lead, the U.S. is planning to pursue a new military strategy founded on the assumption of its continued superiority in robotics and artificial intelligence. This "Third Offset" strategy, as first announced by US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, provides a formula for maintaining a military advantage in the face of a renewed rivalry with China and Russia. 

However, according to The New York Times, as consumer electronics moved to Asia, both Chinese companies and the nation's government laboratories are also making major advancements in the field.

For instance, Microsoft's AI specialist Qi Lu left the company last year to become the chief operating officer at Baidu, where he will oversee the company's project in becoming the leader in AI.

Technology Review noted that just last year, Tencent, the developer of WeChat and a Facebook competitor, created an AI research lab and began investing U.S-based AI companies.

This shows that it may only be a matter of time before countries like China begin developing their own "intelligent" weapons. China Daily previously reported that China has embarked on the development of a cruise missle system with a "high level" of artificial intelligence. The said missile could be a response to a missile the US Navy is expected to deploy in 2018 to counter a growing Chinese military influence in the Pacific.

Aside from this, China is showing fast  progress against U.S. and European AI developers. For instance, Gansha Wu, former director of Intel's laboratory in China, left his post and assembled a team of researchers from Intel and Google to build a self-driving car company. Their product, Uisee Technology, made a demonstration at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas just after nine months.

Since the 1970s, the U.S. has had a military advantage based on its technological advancement on nuclear weapons as well as the emergence of showed Silicon Valley tech such as computer chips and artifiical intelligence. However, the balance of power is slowly shifting as companies themselves are starting to be more advanced than their own governments.

Recent developments so far are already staggering in the field. According to the New York Times, Microsoft has previously announced that the company has created software capable of matching human skills in understanding speech. Google's own DeepMind AI have begun defeating humans in their own "games," such as Go and poker, and is starting to exhibit "behavior" depending on certian situations.

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