There’s a huge arms race going on right now, and it has nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction. The focus is on artificial intelligence, and the three main players are the United States, China, and Russia. All three countries are rivals in more ways than one, so it makes sense they are competing to become the top dog in a world of AI.
Not too long ago, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, uttered the following via live video feed: “Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia but for all humankind,” he said via live video feed as schools started this month. “Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”
We’re not too keen on any country becoming leader of the world through AI, but at least we can understand one of the reasons why these three countries are gunning for pole position.
Smart military power is important
Artificial intelligence is already a thing in the United States military, and as expected, China is not too far behind. For years the American military has been investing heavily in autonomous drones among other things such as the new smart uniforms.
“The US, Russia, and China are all in agreement that artificial intelligence will be the key technology underpinning national power in the future,” Gregory C. Allen, Center for a New American Security fellow, told WIRED. He is the coauthor of a recent report, commissioned by the Director of National Intelligence, that concluded: “As with prior transformative military technologies, the national security implications of AI will be revolutionary, not merely different. Governments around the world will consider, and some will enact extraordinary policy measures in response, perhaps as radical as those considered in the early decades of nuclear weapons.”
Replacing humans on the battlefield won’t happen over night, but there’s no denying that it’s going to happen.
The United States is already leading in AI
It’s clear from what tech companies and the military are doing that the United States of America is the defacto leader in artificial intelligence. The Pentagon is currently developing what it calls a “Third Offset” strategy, which is a plan to increase the military’s technological advantage in light of increased competition.
The U.S. has one major problem, however, and that’s the inability of the government to get any technology it wants from big tech companies. This is because the country isn’t ran by an authotarian regime, therefore, Russia and China will have the edge here.
China wants to take the crown
The Chinese government made it clear that it wants to make the country “the front-runner and global innovation center in AI” by the year 2030. A report from Goldman Sachs claims China has the resources, government support, and the drive it requires to become the leading country in artificial intelligence.
Google’s chairman, Eric Schmidt, made it clear that the United States could fall to China in the AI competition, and he’s not wrong.
The giant from Asia is also hoping to conquer the automotive space with electric vehicles. The plan is to replace fuel-based cars with EVs, but the government has yet to set a date as tow when this plan should be completed.
OK then, what about the Russians?
Russia on the other hand, while behind the U.S. and China where technology is concerned, is hoping to transform 30 percent of its military to robots by the year 2025. Now then, Russia’s academics in technology and the sciences is quite strong, so hitting the set ballpark shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Research analyst Samuel Bendett from the Center for Naval Analyses, says in an interview with WIRED, that despite the Russians having cheaper drones with shorter ranges, the country’s military has done a great job in how these devices are deployed in the field.
He says the Russians appear more willing to blend machine learning with AI, and that could mean the country could become the first to have a functioning ad war ready robot.
No one wants a single country to dominate the world, and that will definitely be the case should either the United States, Russia, or China become too dominant in the field. Therefore, I’d prefer if all three countries have similar artificial intelligence technology for the sake of having a level playing field.
It means all three giants can keep each other in check.