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US has lost AI battle with China, says Nicolas Chalan, former Pentagon software chief: report

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An autonomous delivery vehicle at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, China

London:

The former Pentagon software chief told the Financial Times that China has won the artificial intelligence battle with the United States and is heading for global dominance due to its technological advances.

According to Western intelligence assessments, China, the world’s second largest economy, is likely to be dominated by several major emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and genetics, within a decade or so.

Nicolas Challon, the first chief software officer at the Pentagon to resign in protest of the slow pace of technological change in the US military, said the failure to respond was putting the United States at risk.

“We have no chance of competing against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already a deal, it’s already over,” he told the newspaper. “Whether it takes war or not is kind of anecdotal.”

He said China is set to dominate the future of the world, controlling everything from media narratives to geopolitics.

Challon blames sluggish innovation, the reluctance of US companies like Google to work with the state on AI, and the widespread ethical debate over the technology.

Google was not immediately available for comment outside of business hours.

Chinese companies, Chaylan said, were obliged to work with their government and were making “massive investments” in AI regardless of ethics.

He said US cyber security in some government departments was at “kindergarten level”.

Challan announced his resignation in early September, saying military officers were repeatedly put in charge of cyber initiatives for which they lacked experience.

An Air Force Department spokesman said US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall discussed his recommendations for the department’s future software development following his resignation and thanked him for his contribution, the FT said.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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