CHINA - Communists Gaining an Edge in AI?

Arno Froese

“China is betting on AI and investing in AI and deploying AI on a scale no other country is doing,” says Abishur Prakash, a futurist and author of books about the effect of artificial intelligence (AI) on geopolitics.

As developments in AI accelerate, some in the US fear that the ability of China’s powerful central government to marshal data and pour resources into the field will push it ahead.

The country has announced billions in funding for start-ups, launched programs to woo researchers from overseas and streamlined its data policies.

It has announced news-reading robots and AI-powered strategy for foreign relations. Perhaps most alarming to the US are its efforts to incorporate it into its military.

In the last few years, Washington has toughened oversight of Chinese investments, banned US firms from doing business with certain Chinese companies and increased criminal prosecution of alleged technology theft.

The White House has also pressed universities to review their relationships with Chinese partners and threatened to restrict student visas. It is even said to be looking at rules against certain US investments in China—once nearly unthinkable in free-market America.

Last year, Chinese investment in the US dropped to $4.8bn (£3.7bn)—its lowest level since 2011—while US investment in China dipped from $14bn to $13bn, according to the Rhodium Group's annual report.

High-profile Chinese firms, like insurance giant Anbang and Kai-Fu Lee’s Sinovation Ventures, have reportedly sold or scaled back US operations, while China’s Huawei and ZTE have suffered serious losses after being subject to US bans.

“To start thinking about putting up export control walls around the US could be as damaging to the US research enterprise as anything that a foreign adversary might try to do to us. I hope we will act rationally and not just out of fear,” said professor Tom Mitchell.

American national plans have also called for boosting investment, reforming the immigration system and improving education, but those are much more difficult to achieve, says William Carter, deputy director of technology policy at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“Being hard on China is an easy political sell,” he says, but warns that, “I think we’re shooting ourselves in the foot in a lot of ways.”

As artificial intelligence technologies drive debates over values like surveillance and privacy, free speech and censorship, conflicts between the two countries are likely to increase, says Nicholas Wright, a fellow at the New America think tank in Washington, who has worked with the US and UK governments.

“To some extent, this is just a generic challenge, where you have a new set of technologies and whomever manages to implement them first and best will gain an advantage... but then there’s also another set of issues which is to do with the specifics of these new digital technologies,” he says.

For now, it may take artificial intelligence to know how the race will end.

-www.bbc.com, 12 November 2019

Arno's commentary

Repeatedly we have pointed to communist China’s success. Many of our readers have actually been offended by some of the statements made in Midnight Call regarding communist China. But we reiterate, it is not our calling to side with any geopolitical identity; we simply point out the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The world could not unite under nationalism, nor under Americanism or communism—all are in the same camp. So, the question: how will the world unite? We may simply analyze that with one word: merchandising.

When the Bible speaks about the great whore—who has made the people of this world rich—and reports of the hour of destruction, we read in Revelation 18:11-13: “And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.” Thus, in the end, there is no political philosophy or national security, but simply the loss of merchandise.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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