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"AI Cold War"

       Source: China News Weekly

The pace of AI innovation is accelerating globally

The United States cannot stand by and watch

The United States launches the AI ​​national strategy to open satellites.

This reporter/Hoosi

February 11, the White House official website issued three news, except for an American artificial intelligence initiative signed by US President Trump. The other two push titles are that President Trump is accelerating the US in the field of artificial intelligence. Leadership accelerates US leadership in the field of artificial intelligence.

Continuing the straightforward style of the Trump administration, the proposal states that the United States is a global leader in the development and deployment of artificial intelligence. The continued leadership of the United States in the field of artificial intelligence is critical to maintaining the US economy and national security, and shaping the global evolution of artificial intelligence—in a way that aligns with American values, policies, and priorities.

With the spread of the fourth industrial revolution centered on information technology, the competition for artificial intelligence (AI) between countries has intensified. Before 2016, there were less than 300 searches on the Google engine involving AI competition. After three years, the search volume has increased dramatically to 50,000. The New York Times quoted relevant anonymous industry sources as saying that the current international situation is the AI ​​Cold War.

Since 2017, 18 countries and regions including China, Canada, Japan, South Korea and the European Union have launched their own national artificial intelligence strategic plans.

Now, the United States has become the 19th. The initiative signed by Trump is entitled to maintain the executive command of American artificial intelligence leadership and become the national strategy for the development of the first personal intelligence technology in the United States. Although it seems that the start is a bit late, the Trump administration has been rushing in the past year.

As the pace of AI innovation continues to accelerate globally, the United States cannot stand by. The prophecy pointed out without a word.

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On May 10, 2018, the Trump administration held its first artificial intelligence summit in the White House since its inauguration. More than 100 technology executives and political and business executives attended the show, with giants from Amazon, Facebook, Google, Intel and Microsoft.

In the opening speech, the White House's special assistant to the president of science and technology policy, Michael Kratzos, said that to maintain the leading level of American AI strength in the world, he used a word: imperative.

This meeting has revealed some of the core elements of the plan. Kratzos said at the meeting that the Trump administration has set four goals: to maintain the US leadership in artificial intelligence; to support American workers; to promote government-funded research and development; to remove barriers to innovation.

He also specifically proposed that due to the high dependence of artificial intelligence on big data, the White House is already considering opening up some federal agencies' data. To achieve these goals, the White House will set up a special committee for artificial intelligence, composed of leading researchers in the field of artificial intelligence in various government departments, to provide the White House with all government-level recommendations related to artificial intelligence, and to help governments, private companies and independent research. Establish a partnership.

After the meeting, the White House also issued a presidential open letter showing Trump's support policies for AI since taking office, including funds, education, vocational training, and regulatory loosening. The open letter revealed for the first time that in fiscal year 2019, the Trump administration decided to designate artificial intelligence, automation systems, and unmanned systems as budget requests for government R&D priorities. This is the first in the United States, although it does not specify the specific allocation.

In June 2017, Trump signed an executive order to establish an industry-recognized apprenticeship system to help workers who were gradually replaced by machines; in September, signed a presidential memorandum and decided to prioritize high quality. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, with a particular focus on computer science education, and proactively committed $200 million, with $300 million from the Private Industry Council.

Now, the AI ​​program released in February 2019 has not changed much from the content of this open letter. Just a few days after the end of the first artificial intelligence summit, then US Defense Secretary Jim Matisse submitted a memo to the White House asking the president to develop a national-level artificial intelligence strategy that integrates the country.  

Before, the Department of Defense has been more active than the White House in the AI ​​policy area. Just after the end of the artificial intelligence summit in May 2018, the Pentagon began to act. In late June, the Pentagon announced the establishment of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), which is responsible for coordinating and supervising projects involving AI in all defense departments, including the US Joint Staff, Combatant Command, and Office of the Secretary of Defense. The head of the center was asked to report directly to the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Department of Defense.

According to people familiar with the matter, the Pentagon is preparing to spend $75 million in its annual budget, transfer to the newly formed JAIC, and invest a total of $1.7 billion in the five-year AI program.

The then US Deputy Secretary of Defense, Shanahan, pointed out that the center's work goal is to make the AI ​​projects of the Ministry of Defense work together to accelerate the application of AI and expand its influence. The center will establish a series of AI standards, unified tools, data sharing and technology loops.

After the establishment of the center a month ago, then Minister of Defense Jim Matisse submitted a memo to the White House requesting the development of a national-level artificial intelligence strategy. According to the New York Times, Matisse also told Trump at an internal government meeting that the United States has not kept up with the ambitious plans of China and other countries in the field of artificial intelligence.

Although this memo that was accidentally flowed out has never been officially disclosed, the New York Times believes that it reflects the urgency of defense officials facing the rapid development of artificial intelligence. They believe that AI may change the shape of future wars.

In fact, before the US released the AI ​​program, American critics have accused the Trump administration of not making a federal policy on artificial intelligence.

As opposed to the United States, Canada is the first country in the world to release the AI ​​National Strategy. In March 2017, the Canadian government announced a five-year plan for the Pan-Canada Artificial Intelligence Strategy, which plans to allocate approximately $94 million to support AI research and talent development.

Japan is the second country in the world to release the AI ​​strategy. In March of the same year, Japan released the artificial intelligence technology strategy, which basically established the basic roadmap for realizing its AI industrialization from the perspective of technology and application.

China has released its AI strategy after the EU, and within two years, it has issued two articles, reflecting the importance attached to AI.

In July 2017, the State Council announced a new generation of artificial intelligence development plans. The plan proposes a three-step strategy. The first is that by 2020, China's AI industry will go hand in hand with the strongest competitors; the second step will achieve "world leading" level in some AI fields in 2025; the third step will become the main innovation of global artificial intelligence by 2030. center. China's goal in 2030 is to produce 1 trillion yuan of artificial intelligence, and the total output value of related industries has reached 10 trillion yuan.

Less than half a year later, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a three-year action plan (2018-2020) to promote the development of a new generation of artificial intelligence industry in December of that year. This plan can be seen as the first step in the three-step strategy. Technical planning. It mentions several key technology areas promoted by China, including autonomous vehicles, service robots and voice/image recognition systems.

The critics and entrepreneurs in the US technology community have been frustrated by the gap in investment in AI funds between China and the United States. The Pentagon is a bright performance in federal agencies, and plans to invest $2 billion in research and development of artificial intelligence in the next five years, roughly equivalent to the investment in the Zhongguancun Artificial Intelligence Technology Park.

In a congressional hearing in November 2016, the American artificial intelligence research team OpenAI co-founder Greg Brookman expressed strong dissatisfaction, saying that the entire government only invested $1.1 billion for research on non-confidential artificial intelligence technology. .

In the other hemisphere, the EU has signed an artificial intelligence cooperation declaration document with 24 member states and Norway in April 2018 due to the complexity of its decision-making. Since artificial intelligence technology requires big data as a resource support, the European Commission recommends further legislative measures to make it easier to reuse data and data exchange.

Li Binyang, associate professor of the School of Information Technology, School of International Studies, pointed out to China News Weekly that China's AI strategy is more pragmatic, because the bottleneck of China's AI industry at this stage lies in the lack of core technology reserves, so the focus of planning mainly focuses on the core of artificial intelligence. Technological breakthroughs and catch-ups.  

The EU and the US will place more emphasis on laws and standards when planning. The standards here have two meanings, one is the technical standard, and the other is the moral standard. This is the more core framework problem that the future development of artificial intelligence will inevitably touch. In this respect, the steps are slow and will affect the latter. Entire layout

In the Chinese plan, discussions on ethical standards only accounted for a small amount of space. Li Binyang said that the United States is relatively familiar with this routine.

In many countries where AI plans have been announced, there are indications that the United States is most sensitive to China.

The former US Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Walker had an interesting metaphor. He said that China's rapid development in the AI ​​field has stimulated the United States, and people can't help but think of the early victory of the Soviet Union in the space race. For the United States, it is China's time to stimulate it to open its satellite.

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