A highlight from AI and National Security: US vs China

Eye On A.I.
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Hi i'm craig smith former new york times correspondent and host of the podcast. I on a. I'm also a special government employees at the national security commission on artificial intelligence and in this role i'm serving the host for as a is podcast series on the commission's work in the two thousand nine thousand nine hundred national defense authorization act. The congress established the national security commission on to consider the methods and means necessary to integrate artificial intelligence into the national security and defense needs of the united states at the end of march this year the commission issued the results of its work a sixteen chapter report to the president and congress outlining its recommended strategy for winning in the artificial intelligence era. The report was accompanied by a blueprint for action that laid out detailed steps that the us government should take to implement the commission's recommendations this week i spoke to barak tari the commission's executive director about what he considers the most important recommendations in the report and the need for and the white house to act swiftly to counter china's concerted efforts to beat the us in deploying this critical technology around the world. It's a competition that will define the coming decades in much. The same way that the nuclear arms race define the decades after world war two. I hope you find the conversation as important as i did. Why don't we start by having you introduce yourself give a little bit of your background and how you came to the commission and then i have some questions about the final report. My name is really by on the executive director of the national security commission on artificial intelligence little over two years ago the commission was stood up by united states congress specifically by the armed services committee on both the house. The senate side. In the united states congress identified a fifteen commissioners some leading technologies former government officials and leading academic thinkers in so once they gathered they decides we point eric schmidt as the chair of the commission and baltimore as vice chair of the commission and then it was left up to the chair to decide. Who's going to be the executive director. You know basically somebody that runs this on a day to day basis highest stats and takes care of the operation. So eric invited me to serve as the executive director in i gladly accepted and i was fortunate really for the last two years to be part of this effort and the effort has culminated in a final report you were issuing quarterly reports with recommendations some of which have already been implemented but this final report came out march first from your perspective. What are the most critical recommendations in the report. Or i should say what are the most critical recommendations from the commission over the course of its work whether those recommendations are in the final report or were in the quarterly reports the mandate given to us from congress was pretty clear we have to produce. A final board is addresses. The questions they asked for commission which is how do we maintain global advantage for artificial intelligence for national security purposes given the visceral dynamic orangey and given that there is a log on in terms of the geopolitical landscape our commissioners and this is under the guidance of eric and bob work tasks the staff the started providing congress the executive branch in twenty twenty these quarterly memos and you can find them online because they thought we don't have time to waste and that we can provide some low hanging fruit recommendations to get congress in the executive branch going on some of the things we can start doing right now without waiting for the final report and so we produce three long mamas in two thousand twenty that we submitted to congress. Fortunately consoles understood the importance of timing so they included some of the recommendations in fiscal year. Twenty one defense authorization act so some are conditions are already being implemented as we speak but then our final report to congress and the executive branch was submitted on march. First grassley questioned. craig abide. What are some of the key. Themes are funding report. When you look at seven hundred sixty nine pages the four pillars for action that we have to undertake now to remain a leader in the i. I it's leadership. We need to be organized. For this kind of competition we need the white house leadership to drive the prioritization and coordination of activities after world war. Two weeks hated the national security council to help us address the soviet union problem. After the end of the cold war we created the national economic council. It is done to set up the technology competitiveness council or t see the white house shared by vice president to win the knowledge. You competition the second pillar of our recommendation Walls around people or talent people are the secret sauce in the competition and we argue that we have a huge talent deficit. We need to build new talent and expand existing programs in government and we won the world's best to come to the united states. Stay here in contribute to our economy. A national security and ultimately we need to cultivate or home talent in united states. Resignation is around hardware as our commissioners argue will risk losing access to the vast majority of the cutting as microelectronics which power companies in our military. We need to revitalize domestic semiconductor manufacturing. And we need to ensure that we are two generations ahead of china the last little recommendations is around innovation. We need to sustain and increase investment in research to set conditions for accessible domestic. Ai innovation in drive the breakthroughs to win the technology competition or We need to establish a national. I research infrastructure that would enable anybody from small medium sized companies individuals and universities access to the tools and then lastly we need to double federal investments in they are in d so that we re thirty two billion dollars annually by twenty six two themes cut across all these pillars in our report. One is partnerships. We did a lot award. With regard to our traditional allies like nato and eu we. We also called for our country to lead in building an emerging technology coalition of allies and partners that work closely with private sector and civil society. So again we need toward with all the new allies and here through allies. Amin india israel scandinavian countries et cetera. We also called for launching a coordinated international effort to promote a technology and business infrastructure. Globally through four an assistance and development finance and investments we call it the international digital democracy initiative and the second thing is one of the chief themes throughout these four pillars is the issue. We have to field and develop. Ai that is based on. Our values must work with our fellow democracies and the private sector to build privacy protecting standards into ai technologies an advanced democratic to guide us too so that democracies can responsibly

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