On July 13, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said at the Global Emerging Technology Summit hosted by the National Security Council for Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) that the Department of Defense will invest nearly $1.5 billion to accelerate the development of AI over the next five years.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, who attended the summit, also commented on the matter. “It’s important that AI is developed in a way, and regulated in a way, that is consistent with our democratic values of freedom and openness, protection for our intellectual property, respect for human rights, and respect for privacy,” she said. “We cannot let China write the rules of the road around AI.”
Shortly after, on July 14, Beijing released the “China Internet Development Report (2021),” showing the CCP invested about $65 billion in the AI industry last year. And there were 1,454 existing AI companies in China, ranking second globally to 2,257 in the United States.
According to the CCP’s strategic goal, it plans to lead the world in AI by 2030. In its “14th Five-Year Plan” announced in March of this year, the CCP placed AI, quantum information, and integrated circuits in its top three focuses, with AI ranking first.
To further create talents in AI, the CCP’s Ministry of Education approved 35 universities to add AI undergraduate majors in March 2019.
In March of 2020, the number of colleges and universities with new AI majors reached 180. This year, the CCP’s Ministry of Education added 37 new undergraduate majors in 43 higher-education institutions, almost all of which are related to AI.
Last year, China’s National University of Defense Technology published an article, stating that the development of AI is critical to “gain the initiative in future warfare, support the transformation and production of military equipment, and ensure the advancement of national defense science and technology.”
The article further emphasized that AI enhances “combat command capabilities” and “guarantees the victory of wars.”
In response to the CCP’s advancement in AI, the NSCAI released its 2021 annual report (pdf) on March 19, stating the United States must win the AI race against the CCP, as it is also a race of values and principles.
The CCP uses AI as a tool to monitor citizens and suppress freedom, while the United States aims to use AI to benefit its economy, welfare, and security. The report determined the CCP’s AI development a potential threat to the United States and its allies.
Due to the CCP’s suppression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, the U.S. Department of Commerce blacklisted 20 CCP public security organizations and eight commercial organizations on Oct. 7, 2019.