China, writes Amy Webb in Inc., has been "building a global artificial intelligence empire, and seeding the tech ecosystem of the future." It has been particularly successful, Webb, the founder of the Future Today Institute, believes. "China is poised to become its undisputed global leader, and that will affect every business," she notes. Not everyone shares Webb's assessment that Chinese researchers are in the lead. America, after all, is home to most leading AI tech.
The People's Republic of China, nonetheless, is already an AI powerhouse, and for America to maintain its edge - and to prevent U.S. tech from being used for exceedingly disturbing purposes - Washington should force U.S. companies to end cooperative AI projects in China. The West should be seriously concerned: whoever wins at AI will both dominate the global economy and field the most destructive conventional military force. Unfortunately, American companies are helping China's leaders in what many call - correctly - crimes against humanity. For instance, AI researchers from Microsoft, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Michigan State University gave keynote speeches at the Chinese Conference on Biometric Recognition in Xinjiang in August of last year on facial recognition, a social-control technology. Some of Google's research is in China.
On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared that Google's work in China is not a security concern. As he told CNBC, "I don't see any area -- again the president and I did diligence on this issue -- and we're not aware of any areas where Google is working with the Chinese government in any way that raises concerns." Google's most disturbing Chinese initiatives involve the co-development of technology. Cooperation of this sort is so injurious to the United States that it should be criminalized, by emergency presidential order. Google, the Alphabet Inc. unit, also believes its projects in China are benign.
WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump said early Tuesday his administration would investigate accusations that Alphabet Inc.'s Google worked with the Chinese government. The president repeated accusations made previously by Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and venture capitalist, that Google worked for the Chinese government. "A great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone! The Trump Administration will take a look!" the president wrote on Twitter. Thiel had called on the FBI and CIA to probe Google on its relations with China, and had alleged that the company worked with the Chinese military.