One big concern is with the China/Google/IBM OpenPOWER [2,3] collaboration. Advanced hardware chip technology is one big thing China currently does not have.
The US doesn't want the Google/IBM OpenPOWER Foundation to hand China the keys to the kingdom in the form of advanced microprocessor chip technology and know-how, thus giving away the US hardware chip advantage, i.e. gifting the gap...
~> IBM Venture with China Stirs Concerns (2015) https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/20/business/ibm-project-in-c...
~> China has never had a real chip industry. Making AI chips could change that (2018) https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612569/china-has-never-ha...
So we should make sure that all open source software development is shut down, especially since software’s role in military technology s only growing, lest China gets access to it.
I’m all in favor of Gothub being banned, and while we’re at it let’s get rid of the AOSP as well. And Linux is clearly a curse and while we’re at it let’s jail Microsoft execs for open sourcing .Net as well.
False premise. How is it a military technology at its core as opposed to any other technology? Or every technology is a military technology at its core, in which case, so what?
- When airplanes came out, their first application was military.
- When networks and computers came out, their first application was military.
- When satellites were first developed, their first
application was military.
A.I. has a lot of uses, but it is another new technology, a whole new field of computer science that is rapidly evolving and has clear, identifiable military applications. And its early stage of development means that each breakthrough can pose a strategic military advantage.
This is true whether you agree with his point about the morality of Google partnering with China.
What about agricultural technology? Modern farming methods feed a billion people, but armies march on their stomachs. Should they all go hungry?
One of the problems that just surfaced in the news yesterday is the realization that almost all prescription meds are manufactured in China. The risk that poses to the US population and DoD is incalculable. How do we get off China meds?
In your view, should we hoard medical technology? Doing so will lead to countless unnecessary deaths and tremendous suffering. Is that worth it in your eyes to preserve a military advantage?
If the Chinese were known to have stockpiles of Mustard Gas (a bio weapon not otherwise applicable to civilian life), then perhaps the US having exclusive knowledge of a cure or preventative substance would be a military advantage.
Your premise is that AI at its current stage is equivalent to a cure for cancer. I disagree.
First, mustard gas is not a bioweapon. It's a chemical agent. There will never be a cure because it's like saying that you have a cure for fire.
Second, the point raised above is that things like food preservation technology implicitly confer military advantage. The same is true of many lifesaving medical technologies, especially things like celox that treat trauma.
And then there's cryptography. I find it hard to believe that you (or anyone on HN) support Joe Biden's approach to restrictions there. But that's quite clearly a dual use technology.
Finally, I never said it was equivalent to a cure for cancer. I don't believe that, and it's disingenuous to put words in my mouth. But things like self driving cars probably will actually save lives, and even independent of that I think it's worth examining very critically what restrictions we as a free society are willing to impose to gain military advantage.
Is there a line for ML (what we're erroneously calling AI here) where you think sharing it is appropriate? Self driving car tech could certainly save a great many lives; is it more reasonable to share the next Viagra than to save those people?
I guess cars and packaged food are also ‚a military technology‘?
Guess what they do....
An article about 'AI' that requires actual 'I' to understand? Inconceivable!
The logical conclusion of "we shouldn't let China have machine learning" is that it should be locked down like nuclear weapons research. But it would be even more difficult to control, because you only need graphics cards, not uranium.
it’s just like a screwdriver, that’s why china is using AI for tracking and oppressing their uighur minorities
I don't think a screwdriver can be used to oppress millions of people.
1) AI/ML is a dual use technology, one with both civilian and military uses...plausible. Worth noting that ITAR* already restricts transfer of a variety of technologies to others. Maybe AI/ML should count?
2) China is the enemy of the US...debatable
3) Google's presence in China gives it government greater access to these tech's than it otherwise would have...plausible
Seems like a generic opinion piece to me.
Even if Google didn't have an office in China, Chinese researchers could just as well learn from NIPS proceedings, etc.
I say no, the genie is way too far out of the bottle for this to be effective. Any nation that wants an advantage in AI will have to secretly develop their own advances and rely on secrecy rather than regulation to preserve their advantage.
Any nation that attempts to regulate AI tech for military purposes will only be hurting themselves, and gaining little.
We invented the microprocessor and SV has 40+ years of accumulated knowledge and hard-earned experience built into every chip. When an adversary is 40 years behind and has not yet developed the capability to make their own chips, that's significant. We rode that curve from beginning to end, and catching a ride on an exponential rocketship gives you a massive a head start -- a secure long-term advantage, one that's almost insurmountable if you don't give it away. So let's not do that. There's an optimal path. Let's find it.
Taken together that means that we have at most an 8 year lead on what is in play literally right now in china. Given their investment level it's pretty likely that they will hit parity within two years. And Huawei was first to market with a 7nm CPU design. This is what you term a "secure long-term advantage"?
Happy to bet on it, though.
Huawei would love to source its chips and other components
purely from Chinese suppliers, but as of today it is unable
to do so ... There is no production line in China that uses
only equipment made in China, so it is very difficult to make
any chipsets without U.S. equipment.
China has-- currently, not theoretically-- in country fab just a few years behind, and has been actively building plants at 10nm. We know they've already bought equipment for 7nm. So the idea that somehow the supply chain is holding them back is just wrong.
Not only that, but U.S. equipment doesn't lead here and hasn't for quite some time. Taiwanese equipment does. Are you really arguing that China does not and will not have access to Taiwanese Fab equipment? Because if so, you should know that TSMC is already moving fab to China.
In addition, there's no mention that three of Thiel's key investments (Space X, Palantir, and Anduril) require contracts from the US government, which is run by a President who Thiel helped get elected and is very hostile towards China.
There's a ton more going on in the news and behind the scenes beyond the Thiel NYT post.
> Let me see if I understand this right: New Zealand citizen and Facebook board member Peter Thiel criticizes UK-based DeepMind and its sister company Google for working with non-US countries on AI technology.
No, you do not have that correct. He is not criticizing Google for working with "non-US countries". He is criticizing them for working with China specifically, which is known to spy on and steal technology from the US and then use it to oppress their citizens. At the same time Google is refusing to work with the US, you know the country where they actually live and work.
EDIT: Ah, I see that Thiel said elsewhere that China already carried out espionage inside Google and hasn't backed this up. That claim is absent from this op-ed but it may be CYA for those comments on his part.
Nowhere in the article does he disclose that he, at one point, owned 10% of facebook, a top competitor of Google's.
Most ironically, Facebook announced they'd open an office in china over a year ago .
He makes unsubstantiated claims that technology coming from this lab will be useful in the military before all else etc. He neglects to mention Google's public intent for the office, which has nothing to do with the military .
Giving China this capability, i.e. gifting the gap, will give China an advanced hardware capability they do not have and did not earn. It will undoubtedly be used by the Chinese military. The supercomputer labs is the primary target.
The AI race is already a big unknown, and the Chinese government internal checks and balances are inorganic and not yet tested. Remember the tenets, be slow to speak and be wary of unearned wisdom. What is the point of accelerating this?
I'm sure editors at the Times struck that as well. Still it makes you wonder, why publish him at all?
It's rare. The significance of that should tell you something.