Pentagon's first software chief RESIGNS because China won AI war

The Pentagon’s first software chief RESIGNS in protest because the US has ‘already lost’ the AI war with China and is ’20 years behind its technology’

  • The Pentagon’s first ever chief software officer Nicolas Chaillan said he resigned over U.S. inaction on technological developments in the military
  • He says China has already won the Artificial Intelligence battle
  • ‘Right now, it’s already a done deal – it is already over in my opinion,’ he said in an interview published Sunday.  ‘Whether it takes a war or not is kind of anecdotal’
  • Comments come as China threatened Taiwan with military action as it plans to ‘reunify’ with the island 

The Pentagon’s first ever chief software officer Nicolas Chaillan said he resigned over U.S. inaction on technological developments in the military

The Pentagon’s first ever chief software officer resigned last month in protest at the slow pace of technological transformation in the U.S. military, claiming the failure to respond to China winning the Artificial Intelligence battle is putting the U.S. at risk.

Nicolas Chaillan, 37, told the Financial Times after resigning: ‘We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years.’

‘Right now, it’s already a done deal – it is already over in my opinion,’ he added. ‘Whether it takes a war or not is kind of anecdotal.’

Chaillan worked for three years on a Pentagon project aimed at boosting cyber security. He was the first chief software officer for the Air Force.

He said in his interview published Sunday that China has won over the U.S. and is on track towards global dominance due to its technological advances.

In the coming weeks, Chaillan said he will testify before Congress about the Chinese cyber threat to U.S. supremacy, including in classified briefings.

China, the world’s second largest economy, is likely to dominate many of the key emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and genetics within a decade or so, according to Western intelligence assessments.

The communist nation is set to dominate the future of the world, controlling everything from media narratives to geopolitics, Chaillan said.

‘Right now, it’s already a done deal – it is already over in my opinion,’ Chaillan added, claiming the U.S. Military is refusing to progress technologies and that China is surpassing the U.S. artificial intelligence advancements

He blamed sluggish innovation, the reluctance of U.S. companies such as Google to work with the government on AI and extensive ethical debates over the technology.

Google was not immediately available for comment outside business hours when Reuters reached out.

Chinese companies, Chaillan said, were obliged to work with their government and were making ‘massive investment’ in AI without regard to ethics.

He said U.S. cyber defenses in some government departments were at ‘kindergarten level’.

On Monday, the official People’s Liberation Army Daily newspaper said drills had been carried out ‘in recent days’ in the southern part of Fujian province, posting a video of soldiers carrying out training in the ocean and on a beach. Pictured: A still grab from the video

Chaillan announced his resignation at the beginning of September, saying military officials were repeatedly put in charge of cyber initiatives for which they lacked experience.

A spokesperson for the Department of the Air Force said Frank Kendall, secretary of the U.S. Air Force, had discussed with Chaillan his recommendations for the department’s future software development following his resignation and thanked him for his contributions, the FT said. 

Tensions in Asia are high right now as the Chinese Communist Party detailed its intentions to reunify with Taiwan.

Chinese state media The Global Times threatened on Sunday that the CCP ‘will have little choice but to take Taiwan to the battlefield’ after the island’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, vowed to resist ‘threats’ from Beijing.

Quoting from ‘experts’ within China , the paper accused ‘secessionist’ Tsai of stirring up tensions while warning that ‘resisting reunification by force will only bring doom more quickly.’

China, the US and the race to develop artificial intelligence while tensions build between Beijing and D.C.  

Nicholas Chaillan resigned from his post as the Pentagon’s first software chief during the race to develop the most cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology.

Congress has upped the US investment into artificial intelligence and President Biden has consistently stressed the need to compete with Beijing while touting his multi-trillion dollar spending plans.

But the reality is the U.S. is far behind their Chinese counterparts. Beijing has one of the most comprehensive facial recognition software systems in the world and is able to keep track of huge portions of their population.

China also has the largest population in the world at more than 1.4billion people, meaning they have a huge dataset to gather information from. 

China files more AI patents than any other country, has 1,189 firms specifically focused on AI production, and they publish more research than any other country in the world, according to the Harvard Business Review. 

The U.S. has more than 2,000 artificial intelligence companies , but progress is stifled by ethics and privacy concerns depending on how invasive the technology is.

In March, a report by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence found that the U.S. was ‘unprepared’ for AI competition with China and urged the Pentagon to get up to speed by and be ‘AI-ready’ by 2025.

Commission Vice Chair Robert Work, former deputy secretary of defense, said: ‘The bottom line … is we don’t feel this is the time for incremental toggles to federal research budgets or adding a few new positions in the Pentagon for Silicon Valley technologists.

 ‘Those just won’t cut it. This will be expensive and requires significant change in mindset at the national, and agency, and Cabinet levels. America needs White House leadership, Cabinet member action, and bipartisan congressional support to win the AI competition and the broader technology competition. 

Former Google executive Eric Schmidt warned that China is making huge investments in AI and there is ‘every reason to think their competition will increase’.  

In June, the U.S. Senate approved a $250billion cash injection into semiconductor production and artificial intelligence in the United States Innovation and Competition Act. 

In July, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the Pentagon ‘urgently needs’ to prioritize AI development over the next five years and a $1.5billion investment would help 600 projects already under way.

However, advancements have been stifled by ethics and safety concerns, and Austin has said he would not ‘cut corners’ while advancing the technology.

Progressive Democratic Senators including Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey have urged the government not to use facial recognition software, while the Department of Homeland Security wants to install a biometric system for all non-citizens passing through the U.S.

Robert Spalding, a retired Air Force brigadier and former defense attache in Beijing told the Financial Times that Chaillan ‘rightfully’ complained in his resignation.

He also stepped down to create his own encrypted defence technology because he was frustrated by the ‘archaic’ systems in B-2 stealth bombers.  

The PLA posted a video which it said involved ‘shock’ troops, sappers and boat specialists undertaking a training drill

The video of soldiers in small boats storming a beach, throwing smoke grenades, breaking through barbed wire defenses and digging trenches in the sand

Pictured: A grab from the PLA’s video showing soldiers in training storming a beach 

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