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US is drastically unprepared for the age of AI

Discussion in 'Political Debates' started by Stevicus, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/02/us-...ompete-in-ai-era-says-eric-schmidt-group.html

    It seems Big Tech must have been too distracted by myopically gouging consumers, manipulating public opinion, having inflated opinions of themselves and their abilities - that they forgot what world they were living in.

    They are urging President Biden to reject calls for a global ban on AI-powered autonomous weapons.

    I'm not sure why they're worried now. 30-40 years ago, Corporate America threw caution to the four winds when they embraced free trade and a global economy. Now, they're showing signs of regret? It's only now that they realize? And yet, they're not apologizing for their short-sightedness nor willing to admit that they made a grave mistake?

    If the US is badly unprepared to compete in this world, whose fault is that?

    A large part of the blame lies within the political culture itself, especially here in insular America where most people can't even point out their own state on a map. Most people in America know next to nothing about the outside world - and that would even include some of the CEOs and techies who are on this commission.

    Another part of the blame is short-sighted corporate greed. When the Soviet Union broke up and China opened its markets, our business and political leaders only saw dollar signs in their eyes. They didn't look at the larger picture or consider the ramifications of the path they were taking. All they thought about was how much money they could make.

    But in addition to the above factors, we seem to be at a point of cross purposes between a country which has depended on both patriotism (along with a strong belief in American exceptionalism) and international trade and profit from exploiting other nations (which requires militarism and patriotism).

    From a certain point of view, globalism seems a more noble, higher-minded position to take. "Imagine there's no countries," as John Lennon so eloquently put it. A "world without borders" was a popular slogan. The Cold War was over, and China and Russia seemed pacified to some degree - no longer the threat they once were. The idea that "we can do business with China" seemed to make them more benign and manageable from a US point of view.

    But we've still maintained this idea of American exceptionalism and patriotism. This quasi-nationalistic sentiment was exacerbated immensely on September 11, 2001. We still saw the outside world as a potential enemy, even while the US elite were reaping huge profits from globalism.

    Thinking on this, I've noticed that we, in the West, seem to thrive on contradictions, double-standards, and hypocrisy. We're very good at compartmentalizing ideas and topics in such a way as to avoid juxtaposing contradictory aspects of our society within the same context. We commonly hear weak rejoinders such as "whataboutism" or "false equivalency" as rhetorical tactics to avoid facing our own hypocrisy. There's a whole world out there which doesn't cotton to that kind of BS.

    I just don't think we can go on this way for much longer. Sooner or later, we're going to have to make a choice as to what path we want to take. We can't have our cake and eat it - not anymore.

    As for China and Russia, I find it difficult to believe that they're actually plotting and hatching some "evil plan" to take over the world with AI. What are the American AI techies doing these days? How did we get so far behind and caught flat-footed?

    But the real question is: Is this anything we really need to worry about, especially in a "world without borders" which US leaders have claimed to want all this time? Didn't they want globalism, and didn't they love the idea that "we can do business with China"? But now, they're showing signs of regret?

    Do our leaders even know what they're doing? Do the American people even care?
     
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  2. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    I think globalisation was in vogue in the USA and the West when they were economically dominant. Now that the boot is on the other foot, they are suddenly less keen on it.;)

    But it remains the case that fairly open borders and fairly free trade lead to more overall economic growth in the world than a world of trade barriers and economic nationalism.
     
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  3. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I wonder who those Chinese and Russian geniuses are who outwitted Alphabet (alpha GO, alpha Zero), IBM (Watson) and Boston Dynamics (Big Dog, PETMAN, Atlas) in just a few years.
    Or is it that Schmidt & co are only projecting a threat to get those lucrative military contracts? And that not banning military AI use is to use AI in the military? At least one thing is pure projection: "... saying that China and Russia are unlikely to keep to any treaty they sign." - Not keeping to treaties is as American as apple pie.
     
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  4. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    Yes, that caught my attention as well. How do they even know this? Are they foreign policy experts? It looks to me like their expertise is in tech, not international relations, so how can they say this? What do they base it on?
     
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