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China & AI / Open Lines

Date Friday - March 29, 2019
Host Richard Syrett
Guests Robert MaginnisOpen Lines

Joining guest host Richard Syrett, expert on national security and foreign affairs, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Maginnis, discussed China's goal of establishing the country as the dominant force in Artificial Intelligence by 2030, and why industry officials warn that China’s accelerating investment in AI and other cutting-edge technologies, like quantum computing and 5G, threatens to dethrone the United States as the global leader in technology.

"If we're going to be the world leader and we're going to be able to maintain our own sovereignty... we've got to keep pace, and I'm very concerned," Maginnis warned. According to Maginnis, China's President Xi intends to spend $150 billion between now and 2030 on AI alone. By comparison, the US will probably only spend $2 billion a year, he lamented, noting the nation will fall behind because of lack of investment in up-and-coming technologies. The Chinese have also committed to modernizing their military capabilities, he added. "Future conflict with China means that they're going to be militarily superior... nuclear-armed, and a global power," Maginnis cautioned.

Over the last two decades, the US has been on the sidelines and focused on conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq while Beijing has ratcheted up capabilities unlike we've ever seen, Maginnis explained. China has an advantage in data gathering as well because their authoritarian regime is not as concerned about civil liberties, he revealed. Maginnis agreed with President Trump's call for federal agencies to develop AI capabilities for economic and national defense. "This is an arms race — an arms race unlike anything we've ever seen," he said.

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Open Lines followed in the latter half of the program. Bob in Oregon shared a strange encounter he had with a couple in a parking lot. According to Bob, he was drawn to an unusual looking car and began talking to its owner who told him he had to get back to his spaceship. "There was a girl in the car and she said, 'we have to go,' and her head pivoted like it was an electric motor," he said, noting her eyes were jet black. Bob suggested his encounter was with an advanced form of Artificial Intelligence.

Nick from Twain Harte, California, wondered if the US government would use Artificial Intelligence and related technologies, including precision drone attacks, against its own population. "To target US citizens without due process that's a scary thing to contemplate," guest host Richard Syrett commented. Shane from Melbourne, Australia, commented on generational social engineering and technology. "With AI I can see a real serious change now with young kids with gaming machines and how they're actually plugged into that Artificial Intelligence," he said.

News segment guest: Tim Binnall

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