China’s rapid improvements in the field of artificial intelligence is raising concerns among technological leaders over a potential arms race to improve AI capabilities between China and the United States, Politico reports.

Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google and the current chairman of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, said during a talk at Politico’s AI Summit on Thursday that the U.S. must form a national strategy for artificial intelligence with a “whatever it takes” mindset.

He added that Americans cannot switch off when it comes to artificial intelligence as an issue, since consumer AI technology could be “used for cyber warfare” with methods that have yet to even be devised.

Schmidt also noted that a global coalition would be necessary to counter China.

“China is simply too big,” he said. “There are too many smart people for us to do this on our own.”

“Many commentators in Washington and Beijing have accepted the fact that we are in a new type of Cold War,” added Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen, the deputy secretary general of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group that is working to establish cooperation on artificial intelligence worldwide.

Knudsen admitted that “Multilateralism and international cooperation are under strain,” which makes it difficult to establish a multinational agreement about the ethics of artificial intelligence. “But if you start with soft law, if you start with principles and let civil society and academics join the discussion, it is actually possible to reach consensus.”

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