China’s intelligent weaponry gets smarter / NYT (paywall)
The U.S. “no longer has a strategic monopoly” on military technology that integrates artificial intelligence (AI), such as long-range missiles that avoid defenses and make targeting decisions semi-autonomously and speech-recognition software that can be applied for surveillance. Chinese businesses have recently made key moves forward in AI research: Less than a month ago, tech giant Baidu hired top AI engineer Qi Lu over from Microsoft, but Chinese companies have been investing in the space for years (listen to this Sinica Podcast with Andrew Ng, chief scientist of Baidu for more). Military-applied AI has a smoother path in China, where technology companies and the government have a “cozy relationship,” whereas the U.S. tech world is stuck in a dilemma made public as a result of the Snowden revelations: Silicon Valley companies must keep a distance from the U.S. government in order to expand into the China market, or partner with the Pentagon and get shut out from China.
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