Thursday, March 23, 2017

Arrogance Precedes a Stumble

"There are many occasions of something being simultaneously invented in China and elsewhere, or being invented first in China and then later making it overseas. But then U.S. media reports only on the U.S. version"
"This leads to a misperception of those ideas having been first invented in the United States."
Andrew Ng, chief scientist, Baidu

"I think while China is definitely making progress in artificial intelligence systems, it is nowhere close to matching the U.S."
Abhijit Singh, naval weapons analyst, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi

"It is indisputable that Chinese authors are a significant force in A.I., and their position has been increasing drastically in the past five years."
"About 40 per cent of the leading b AI research papers in the world are published by the Chinese. The really top-level AI experts are still those from North America and the UK, but the Chinese are expected to get better and better with their quick learning and the improvement of platforms they work for."
"The large number of science and engineering college students in China give the country a unique advantage in AI development."
Kai-Fu Lee, researcher, founder, Chinese venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures

"No one sort of overtly says that, because the Pentagon can't say it's about China, and the tech companies can't. But it's there in the background."
Peter W. Singer, expert in future of war, New America, Washington
Building supercomputers is a digital arms race, and China is moving quickly to solidify its lead. Last year, the country unveiled the world’s fastest supercomputer, the Sunway TaihuLight (above). This year, according to state news agency Xinhua, the government has set its sights on completing the world’s first prototype exascale computer; a machine capable of making a billion billion calculations per second. The Verge

The Chinese government in Beijing has a close relationship with its nation's commercial technology aspirations. And just as Beijing has its interests in all manner of Chinese corporations appearing as an extended arm of the government, there is no denying that in the United States, government has its links as well with its advanced technology companies. Those links may be there, but the IT companies are loathe to advertise their working relationships with the U.S. Defense Department, since they value their access to the large Chinese market.

But the American deputy secretary of defense relies on advisers in the A.I. industry to further plans to make use of artificial intelligence on the battlefield. Robert O. Work, must have been taken aback when those he relies upon as experts unparalleled in their field, disabused him of his trust by informing him that "the smartest guys are at Facebook and Google". And though they may not have articulated it, in China, as well, collapsing the U.S.'s traditional monopoly on the burgeoning technology.

The Chinese web services company Baidu had managed through the expertise of its researchers to beat Microsoft in the creation of software modelling human skills in interpreting speech. The Chinese had done so, accurately and expeditiously with the Chinese language, beating out Microsoft by two years in advance. Last summer, the China Daily linked to the state, revealed the development of a cruise missile system using A.I.

The missile that the United States Navy is planning to deploy in 2018 in an effort to manage Chinese military strength in the Pacific motivated China to develop that "high level" of A.I. for their cruise missile system. "They are making their machines more creative", John Arquilla, a military strategist at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California, observed. That's the essence of pride in believing themselves to be the best, the brightest, the most innovative and advanced.

A year ago, Chinese technological expertise advanced the Sunway Taihu Light online, the world's fastest supercomputer. China already had the distinction of having designed an earlier model that was acknowledged to be the world's fastest supercomputer, and now they've outdistanced that one. Machine-learning research is accelerated with high-performance computing.  And its military applications have been foreseen, augmenting typical defence functions like breaking encryption of adversaries.

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