Foreign Policy


Tillerson pushes for stronger ties with India while chiding China

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Wednesday for the U.S. and India to expand strategic ties. He also pointedly criticized China, which he accused of challenging international norms needed for global stability. Tillerson's remarks on relations between the world's two largest democracies, ahead of his first trip to South Asia as secretary of state, risked endearing Washington to one Asian power while alienating another. Tillerson said the world needed the U.S. and India to have a strong partnership. He said the two nations share goals of security, free navigation, free trade and fighting terrorism in the Indo-Pacific, and serve as "the Eastern and Western beacons" for an international rules-based order that is increasingly under strain.


Trump: If Tillerson called me a moron, we should 'compare IQ tests'

PBS NewsHour

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump suggested he's smarter than Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, saying in an interview published Tuesday that if Tillerson did call him a moron, as reported, the two should "compare IQ tests." Still, last week Trump told reporters he has "total confidence" in his secretary of state. "I'm not undermining," Trump told Forbes. As for Tillerson's reported "moron" 'comment, the president said, "I think it's fake news.


The Trump Administration Can't Stop China From Becoming an AI Superpower

@machinelearnbot

Last Thursday, Texas senior senator John Cornyn stood before an audience of wonks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC, and warned that America's openness to investors looking for new ideas in technologies like artificial intelligence was putting it in danger. It recently worked with Baidu to set up a new national lab dedicated to keeping China competitive in deep learning, the technique behind recent progress in areas such as image and speech recognition, and a program called Artificial Intelligence 2.0 will funnel billions to develop AI for commercial and military use. China has made artificial intelligence a clear priority area to both its economy and military," says Peter Singer, a senior fellow who studies technology and national security at non-partisan think tank New America. Canada, which has universities that are crucial to the rise of deep learning, is using various federal and regional programs to build up artificial intelligence industry and research through immigration and foreign investment.


The Trump Administration Can't Stop China From Becoming an AI Superpower

WIRED

Last Thursday, Texas senior senator John Cornyn stood before an audience of wonks at the Council for Foreign Relations in Washington, DC, and warned that America's openness to investors looking for new ideas in technologies like artificial intelligence was putting it in danger. It recently worked with Baidu to set up a new national lab dedicated to keeping China competitive in deep learning, the technique behind recent progress in areas such as image and speech recognition, and a program called Artificial Intelligence 2.0 will funnel billions to develop AI for commercial and military use. China has made artificial intelligence a clear priority area to both its economy and military," says Peter Singer, a senior fellow who studies technology and national security at non-partisan think tank New America. Canada, which has universities that are crucial to the rise of deep learning, is using various federal and regional programs to build up artificial intelligence industry and research through immigration and foreign investment.


Augmenting human creativity

#artificialintelligence

Where things stand, per the Post: In early May, Sec of State Tillerson raised he possibility of returning the compounds if construction was allowed to move ahead on a new U.S. consulate in St Petersburg, but dropped the condition about the consulate days later after meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister and U.S. The Flynn connection: Michael Flynn, the former national security advisor, discussed the Obama administration's sanctions with Russia's ambassador and "indicated that U.S. policy would change" under Trump. Bonus anecdote: I spoke with locals in Centreville, Maryland the day after the compound there was closed about the espionage in their backyard, and what they thought would happen next. Smoky Sigler, then president of the town council, predicted that once Trump was in office he'd wait a few months, then let the Russians back in.


360 degree: Man versus Machine

#artificialintelligence

Some of those jobs include telemarketers, insurance underwriters, cargo and freight agents, photographic process workers and processing machine operators, brokerage clerks, packaging and filling machine operators and tenders, fitters, assembling staff, milling and planning machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic, credit analysts, accountants, telephone operators, real estate brokers, cashiers, farm labour contractors, paralegals and legal assistants. These include doctors, dentists, nurses, biochemists, biophysicists, engineers, except those relating software, jobs related to religion, mental health, and psychology, artists, architects, interior designers, directors, photographers, physical therapists, fashion designers, teachers, scientists, creative writers, public relations practitioners, computer research scientists, computer systems analysts, first-line supervisors, mechanics, fund-raisers, social workers, sales agents, and recreation therapists. Low-cost products manufactured by companies in developed countries could also threaten Indian companies, if the country has free trade agreement with them. Low-cost products manufactured by companies using robots in developed countries could threaten Indian companies, if india has a free trade agreement with them.


Andrew Walker: A UK-EU trade deal is another WTO issue

BBC News

One option that has been floated, if the two sides can't agree a comprehensive free trade agreement, is sectoral deals. The WTO's rule book says the member countries "recognise the desirability of increasing freedom of trade by the development, through voluntary agreements, of closer integration between the economies of countries parties to such agreements". The WTO rules say such agreements should cover "substantially all the trade" between the members of the customs union or free-trade area. But that makes countries reluctant to challenge others, for fear of shining an unwelcome light on their own agreements.


Border Control Agencies May One Day Use AI to Detect Travelers' Lies

#artificialintelligence

Border control agencies are already using self-service kiosks to manage the crowds of international travelers entering their countries, but a high-tech type of kiosk in development can do more than just scan passports. The self-service kiosks, created by the National Center for Border Security and Immigration at the University of Arizona in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security [PDF], scan travelers' passports and ask the kinds of questions posed by human agents, such as "Do you have any fruits or vegetables?" Sensors can identify body cues like facial expression, vocal tics, pupil dilation--and even cues that human agents can't see, like cardiorespiratory data--which could indicate that the person is lying and should be subject to additional screening. "The system is fully ready for implementation to help stem the flow of contraband, thwart fleeing criminals, and detect potential terrorists and many other applications in the effort to secure international borders."


Century-old U.S. trade group vows to work with Trump, fight protectionism

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – A century-old U.S. trade group on Monday pledged to work with the incoming administration to improve access to overseas markets for American companies, but also to fight against protectionism. Rufus Yerxa, head of the 300-company National Foreign Trade Council, said his organization is prepared to work with President-elect Donald Trump to improve conditions for U.S. exporters. Yerxa presented the NFTC's newest policy brief, which favors many policies Trump has been pushing: better trade rules for U.S. exporters, reduced corporate taxes and big spending to improve infrastructure. Yerxa said if done right, with these programs coupled with lower taxes, free trade and improved infrastructure, "there will be a lot less need for politicians to be focusing on taking counterproductive trade actions as a way of solving our economic problems."


Trump, artificial intelligence and India

#artificialintelligence

Among the few specific things that Trump said about US national security were references to artificial intelligence (AI) in boosting America's defence edge against rival powers, especially China. As China's growing military capabilities challenge the historic American primacy in Asia, America is betting on AI, autonomous weapons, and improved man-machine interface to contain Beijing's strengths. For the technological transformation that is haunting Trump on the manufacturing front will also severely limit Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plans to create jobs in India. The fourth industrial revolution also offers Modi new possibilities to deal with the twin national security challenges -- cross-border terrorism from Pakistan and the growing gap in conventional military capabilities with China.