Don’t look now, but there is an AI arms race going on. And surprisingly, China is leaping ahead United States in a number of different domains of this highly dynamic field.
This is what the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence cautions.
The AI panel has warned of brain drain, claiming that the United States could find its role as the top authority on artificial intelligence research in jeopardy, unless the country radically amps up its investments in research and development.
Commission Chairman Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, told reporters in a roundtable discussion that China is currently leading other nations in implementing AI for facial recognition. The US, however, retains an advantage in terms of invention and research output.
“When we polled researchers, what they said was that China is a fast follower. In other words, they are benefiting from the globalization of knowledge and they use sources from everywhere, but the best and most original papers are still occurring in the West.”
And it all comes down to money, as it almost always does.
This panel of private sector technologists recommend that in order to retain a tactical advantage, the Trump administration should double down on efforts to recruit the best talent in artificial intelligence research.
They also recommend the government to reconsider a proposal to cut to research and development funding by 5% in the fiscal 2020 budget, to go with a 10% decrease in basic research funding.
The commission has also highlighted areas where government and its industry partners can step up their efforts, even as there are no clear winner and losers in the AI race.