Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already fundamentally changing information technology and stands poised to permeate and transform technology both online and off ranging from manufacturing and transportation to medicine and military applications. The US, Russia and China have all noted that dominance in this field of technology will be an essential ingredient to holding global primacy in the near future.
What resembles a sort of arms race has emerged between prominent nations around the globe. Perhaps in an effort to provide the US with an edge, or perhaps in an effort to mitigate the impact of such an arms race, Google has opened an AI center in China.
CNN in its article, “Google is opening an artificial intelligence center in China,” would announce:
Despite many of its services being blocked in China, Google has chosen Beijing as the location for its first artificial intelligence research center in Asia.
The purpose of the center, according to CNN, citing China’s desire to become a global leader in AI technology, will be to:
…help China pursue its aim to become the global leader. The facility will employ a team of researchers who will be supported by engineers the company already has in China.
Considering Google’s services being banned, blocked and otherwise unwelcomed in China, the question remains as to why exactly Google would seek to aid China in becoming a leader in AI technology Google itself seeks to position itself as a leader in.
This question may have been at least partially answered in a recent AI summit which included Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc.
Poaching Foreign Talent
The Washington DC-based Center for a New American Security (CNAS), as part of its Artificial Intelligence and Global Security Initiative, held its Artificial intelligence and Global Security Summit (video) in early November 2017. During Schmidt’s question and answer session, he remarked that China would likely overcome America’s lead in AI technology by 2025.
While Schmidt offered suggestions on how the US could keep its lead over China, particularly through establishing its own national laboratories for researching and developing AI technology within an enumerated national strategy regarding AI,