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AI Nationalism. How to Stop Technological Fencing
Latest   Machine Learning

AI Nationalism. How to Stop Technological Fencing

Last Updated on July 20, 2023 by Editorial Team

Author(s): Anna Prist

Originally published on Towards AI.

A summary of the 96-page recent report on AI and militarist’s ideas on how to rethink technological competition and to prevent technological disaster

Source: dribble, by Dalibor Pajic

A short while ago, NSCAI (National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence) published an interim report (the final one will be out in November 2020). This is an essential document of 96 pages and 239 links, and it contains a few critical points.

First of all, an absolute priority of AI as a national security safeguard was formed and justified. At the same time, all the main terms and taxonomies were given, as well as the 8 top threats to the US from AI (both on the statehood and the military side).

Over and above, the state of affairs was analyzed.

Now among the potential threats are Russia and Mainland China. And the last one is four times more dangerous. Given this, five ways to suppress Chinese (or anyone’s) go-ahead were proposed:

  • The increase in AI funding: nonmilitary expenditure should race up twelvefold
  • AI-powered businesses and military alliances establishment: 4 main challenges that stand before the military/business effective cooperation are needed to address
  • Worldwide AI talents intensive search and hiring
  • Technologies and innovations leakage prevention
  • Establishment of international collaboration that would stand against the ill-disposed and nationalistically tinted AI. Remarkably, it is noted that US diplomacy should be open to possible cooperation with China and Russia on promoting AI safely and managing AI’s impact on strategic stability.

By and large, the AI industry is growing, new generations of technologies hulk up, and these techs able to change drastically the society we live in. As a result, we can see that countries are fencing off.

Instead of national cooperation, we get technological competition.

And this isn’t news — for quite a time, many experts predicted: “AI nationalism” that would eventually change geopolitical landscape. However, so far, no concrete plan on stopping this national enclosure had been offered.


Although there’s one man — Admiral Mike Rogers, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow, ICPC, who shared his ideas on how to rethink technological competition. Together with ASPI International Cyber Policy Centre, he put out an excellent publication — Capabilities, competition, and communication. I brought along the main ideas of this publication to make this simple for you guys.

A strategy for technology

The first thing is that there are already two main classes of technologies — artificial intelligence and quantum computing that are just about to change many aspects of people’s life. And the aftermath can vary over a wide range — from “happiness for everyone” to “death to all.”

Anyway, the result is that everybody loses. This may sound dramatized, but if you recall those are the words of a military man, a realist, not some naive idealist, you’d feel a little dizzy too.

What’s more, new generations of technologies are shaping business and society. Take 5G, for instance. Pretty sure, in like three years, there will be the next 6G of any other new-generation of wireless connectivity.

As a result, advanced nations with more developed markets assume a defensive position. Their national strategies become defensive with a tech-nationalistic tone.

And this is reflected in the following:

  • New technologies are seen as products, not capabilities
  • National security and economic competitiveness become the priority
  • Excessive reliance on national resources is done only to prevent other technologies’ invasion

Under this approach, everybody loses ­– both tech leaders and laggards, both liberal voices and authoritarian countries. Today’s 5G and Huawei opposition are just the beginning — this technological confrontation will continue to overheat.

What needs to be done to prevent such counter-productive outcomes?

  • A strategic vision should be amended
  • New technologies should be seen as new capabilities, not new products
  • Synergistic international cooperation has to become the number one national priority
  • Efficient large-scale alliances should be built and strengthened

AI may be as dangerous as a nuke when used as a weapon for dominance and deterrence. Everyone should be a bit more conscious; otherwise, consequences will be irreversible.

On the brighter side, we know that cooperation is making progress and leads to more prominent advancements. Moreover, it is proved that companies with purposeful positioning grow in double-quick time. It is crucial to remember that big ideas lead to global change.

We have to keep in mind that the ultimate responsibility lies with us, the people who contribute to tech development. We must never forget humanism.

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Published via Towards AI

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