The US Is Losing Its ‘Sputnik Moment’ To China

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Kyle Perisic Contributor
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The United States is losing its “Sputnik moment” to China in the race toward artificial intelligence (AI), posing a serious threat to the U.S.’s place as the world’s greatest superpower.

“The Chinese are happy for the United States to keep building carriers and bombers, so long as they deploy the more advanced technologies that can disable these systems,” wrote David Ignatius, a columnist for The Washington Post. “For the past two years, Chinese companies have won an AI competition for detecting objects.”

In his WaPo column published Tuesday, “The Chinese threat that an air craft carrier can’t stop,” Ignatius makes the argument that the U.S. is falling behind China in developing AI and focusing too much on expensive “legacy weapons of the past” such as aircraft carriers, bombers, fighter jets and submarines.

Attendees and experts at Aspen Strategy Group argued that China is poised to dominate the future of warfare, according to Ignatius.

Staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee Christian Brose argues that instead of a few, expensive manned systems, the U.S. military needs many inexpensive, unmanned and autonomous systems capable of fighting in the terrain of this new form of warfare.

“It is not that we lack money. It is that we are playing a losing game,” Brose presented to Aspen Strategy Group. “Our competitors are now using advanced technologies to erode our military edge. This situation is becoming increasingly dire.”

So much political polarization coupled with the lagging in scientific advancements, Ignatius argues, is “becoming a national security problem.”

Toppled with its dominance in the race toward AI, China is beating the U.S. in developing the fifth generation of wireless communications, called 5G.

The winner of the race to 5G will have a decades-long advantage over the other country, amassing a network of lightning speed that can pave the way for an “era of untapped economic potential,” according to a report by Deloitte Consulting article published Tuesday. (RELATED: China Has Built 10x More 5G Cell Towers Than The US)

China outspent the U.S. by $24 billion and has built 350,000 new wireless towers since 2015, while the U.S. built just 30,000.

“The potential negative consequences of a protracted 5G deployment could take decades to overcome,” the report notes. “The United States led the world in 4G and in the process created thousands of jobs. We simply cannot afford to lose the race to 5G.”

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