The United States must sharpen its artificial intelligence-powered tools in order not to fall behind the efforts of communist China, a U. S. national security commission has told Congress.
In a 750-page report (pdf) to Congress released on March 1, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) detailed the threats posed by the regime in Beijing, which has been vying to supplant the United States as the world’s next AI superpower.
If left unchecked, the communist regime’s rapid advance in the AI field would see China surpass America within the next decade, warned the commission, headed by former Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, along with executives from Microsoft, Oracle, and Amazon.
“China is organized, resourced, and determined to win the technology competition,” it stated, adding that the regime “is executing a centrally-directed systematic plan to extract AI knowledge from abroad through espionage, talent recruitment, technology transfer, and investments.”
The heavy digital dependence of Americans could make AI systems a convenient tool for adversaries such as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to amplify influence operations in future warfare, making every citizen or organization a potential target, the report stated.
AI-enabled malign propaganda has the capacity to send a million individualized messages that cater to each recipients’ digital activities, emotion, and social circle—as in the case of Beijing’s influence campaign during the 2020 Taiwanese elections and automated bots harassing a National Basketball Association team’s general manager, whose pro-Hong Kong tweet had offended the regime.
AI could also help state actors harvest personal data of private American citizens to “model how best to manipulate behavior or cause harm,” accelerate cyberattacks, and program biotechnology innovations with little regard to bioethical standards, the report stated.
“Massive genomic data sets at places like BGI Group (formerly known as the Beijing Genomics Institute), coupled with China’s now global genetic data collection platform and ‘all-of-nation’ approach to AI, will make them a formidable competitor in the bio realm,” it stated.
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