First, Cold War implies a defense or war technology competition, but AI is an omni-use technology that can be used for myriad applications, mostly beneficial and valuable to mankind. AI is akin to electricity. One would not call two countries’ efforts in building electrical grid or electrical cars cold war.
Second, Cold War implies competition in national trade secrets, but today’s AI technologies are reasonably well understood, and can often be used for free, using open source code. Yes, there can be competition (or cooperation) on the next breakthrough, but even those are likely to become open soon after their discovery.
Finally, Cold War implies a nationalistic approach to research, but today AI researchers are collaborating across the world, and publishing and sharing openly.
As described in AI Superpowers, AI will bring challenges are so immense, that they might be overcome only if governments, policy experts, economists, educators, and entrepreneurs to collaborate and share information. The value of such collaboration is incredibly beneficial, and to trump such collaboration with a “Cold War” metaphor will be remembered as foolish, deceptive and myopic. Learn about the AI rivalry between the US and China.
"Kai-Fu Lee's smart analysis on human-AI coexistence is clear-eyed and a must-read. We must look deep within ourselves for the values and wisdom to guide AI's development."
Chairman & CEO Salesforce
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Founder, HuffPost, and founder & CEO, Thrive Global
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