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Wed Oct 13, 2021, 08:08 PM

Ex-Air Force Tech Boss Eviscerates Pentagon For Already Losing The AI Race Against China

Source: The Drive

Nicolas Chaillan, who served as the first Air Force Chief Software Officer, has slammed the Pentagon for its failure to keep pace with its rival China, after stepping down from his post last month, in what was, at least in part, a protest against the conditions that led to this perceived outcome. Of the various complaints leveled at the U.S. military’s approach to modernization, Chaillan highlights what he sees as a lost battle between the United States and China in the field of cyber capabilities, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, or AI.

In an interview given to the Financial Times, Chaillan details some of the reasons behind his departure and the failings that he thinks have left China in pole position in terms of these kinds of high-end military technologies. Chaillan had previously announced his resignation from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of the Air Force via an open letter posted on his LinkedIn profile on September 2, which warned that the Pentagon was systemically “setting up critical infrastructure to fail” on a grand level while also criticizing the lack of support he’d received from leadership even on basic IT matters.

“We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years,” Chaillan told the FT. “Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion.” This echoes Chaillan’s sentiments in his LinkedIn letter, in which he identified China’s “drastic advantage of population over the U.S.” and its “booming, hardworking population” that left the United States with no chance of competing unless it became “smarter, more efficient, and forward-leaning through agility, rapid prototyping and innovation.”

A former technology entrepreneur, software developer, cyber expert, and inventor, Chaillan was appointed to his Air Force position under Dr. William Roper, the former Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. Roper himself left the service earlier this year, leaving a legacy of cutting-edge programs and disruptive concepts in his wake. While in his Air Force job, Chaillan was the service’s senior software czar, tasked with “analyzing current software and cloud migration plans to avoid vendor lock-ins while allowing for rapid prototyping and a streamlined process for deployment,” as well as looking for “new commercially available off-the-shelf software and cloud-related technologies to help with their adoption across various Air Force programs.”

Read more: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/42733/ex-air-force-software-chief-eviscerates-pentagon-for-already-having-lost-the-ai-race-against-china

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Reply Ex-Air Force Tech Boss Eviscerates Pentagon For Already Losing The AI Race Against China (Original post)
Calista241 Wednesday OP
NQAS Wednesday #1
CanonRay Wednesday #2
Sapient Donkey Thursday #10
hibbing Wednesday #3
BobTheSubgenius Wednesday #4
McKim Wednesday #5
Justice matters. Thursday #9
Ray Bruns Wednesday #6
DoBotherMe Thursday #7
Red Pest Thursday #8
Shanti Shanti Shanti Thursday #11
Johnny2X2X Thursday #12
Farmer-Rick Thursday #13
ProfessorGAC Thursday #14
Farmer-Rick Thursday #15
ProfessorGAC Thursday #16

Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Oct 13, 2021, 08:15 PM

1. He may be right

Probably is. But this kind of information seems to be a windfall for China. Almost kinda sorta traitorous.

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Response to NQAS (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 13, 2021, 08:37 PM

2. Pretty sure they already knew it.

Besides, Trump gave us the Space Force and Jewish Space Lasers, so we win! Neener neener

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Response to NQAS (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 03:31 AM

10. He apparently resigned because he claims his calls for action were ignored

It's probably impossible to say how much of that is true, but I would be interested in hearing what his colleagues have to say about him. He could just be "one of those" sorts of people. Ya know what I mean?

That being said, China does have a massive population that is becoming more and more wired in. That tied with the massive Chinese surveillance state that puts to shame anything the NSA has, is something that could be very useful in AI applications. While I don't think they currently hold the top place for the fastest super computer (seems to go back and forth between the US, China, and now Japan), they do have the most super computers on the TOP 500 list. And who knows what they are doing with that weird quantum computing stuff.

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Oct 13, 2021, 08:53 PM

3. Guess we need to spend even more on defense then n/t

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Oct 13, 2021, 09:46 PM

4. American technological superiority used to be unquestioned.

To have a rival (I'll not go as far as to say 'enemy' yet) with both a massive superiority in numbers and, before long, better tech has got to be terrifying to someone like Mr. Chaillan.

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Oct 13, 2021, 10:18 PM

5. I Question the Whole Idea of Another Arms Race!

Why do we always have to have an enemy? Now its China, yesterday it was North Vietnam, Russia, Afghanistan, Lybia, Iraq, and Iran. How about spending our money on our own people for a refreshing change. I could care less if China has more weapons. It is all such a waste of human and economic potential! It is stupid, wasteful and is killing the planet. One way or another it will get us all killed. Just think outside the box and stop it!

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Response to McKim (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 12:18 AM

9. The People's Republic of China designed a plan to acquire most of rare earth materials in the world

since 25 years. We had no plan other than waiting for them to build consumer products and just buy them cheaper for the Multibillionaire class to cash in more profits (and pay little or no taxes, sending the rest to fiscal paradises).

China’s dominance of rare earths supply is a growing concern in the West

China provides more than 85 per cent of the world’s rare earths and it is home to about two-thirds of the global supply of rare metals and minerals like antimony and baryte, report says

US and Europe are worried that any disruption to their supply chains for such products would hurt key industries.

China dominates the supply of rare earths, which are used in products like solar panels.

Western countries are becoming concerned about their reliance on China for supplies of rare earth elements and other scarce metals and minerals that are essential for the manufacture of electric car batteries, satellites, weapons, wind turbines and solar panels.

China provides more than 85 per cent of the world’s rare earths and is home to about two-thirds of the global supply of scarce metals and minerals like antimony and baryte, according to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

China dominates solar PV manufacturing and is home to more than 90 per cent of the world’s wafer manufacturing capacity. The CSIS said China had most of the world’s capacity for key components used in lithium-ion battery manufacturing and 80 per cent of global battery cell manufacturing capacity.

The United States and European countries fear that any disruption to their supply chains for such products will hurt key industries.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3130990/chinas-dominance-rare-earths-supply-growing-concern-west



It was only a matter of time they would begin to 'close the spigots' (so to speak) and we see that starting to affect Apple and other phone makers, PC makers, and automotive makers...

It's more like China who wages war against the 'west' now - we have to stay alert...

They want Taiwan, and then what else?

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Wed Oct 13, 2021, 10:29 PM

6. Ha. WE have almost 10% the population believing there are microchips

in the COVID-19 vaccine. I would already say we lost the technological race. WE sure as hell aren't becoming “smarter, more efficient, and forward-leaning through agility, rapid prototyping and innovation.”

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Response to Ray Bruns (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 12:06 AM

7. LOL!

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 12:10 AM

8. Beware the military-industrial complex!

Remember that we need an enemy to justify spending trillions on the military while cutting spending for infrastructure and social programs.

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 09:05 AM

11. Race isn't over, China had the lead in the AI sexbot field but Calif firms are producing them now

AI adaptive learning, they talk realistically to you, animatronic facial expressions, sensors so they moan when you touch them, heated skin in some.

Oh yeah, we are coming back, lifesize artificial companions are the future new hotness. Design your own today for only $3995!

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 09:12 AM

12. The US hasn't been producing enough engineers for decades now

In order to develop and utilize new technology, engineers are needed. China and India are outpacing us in training new engineers (many school in America). It's what people have been talking about for decades, but little was done here to change the outcome.

There's an American pride that gets in the way of seeing reality. We think our engineering is vastly superior, it's not, in fact Indian engineering right now is cheaper and better for many disciplines. We think American made means quality, it no longer does, in fact American workers cannot keep up with Chinese workers for quality anymore.

We've lost the race, but that doesn't mean it's the end of the world or anything, just means we're going to have to position ourselves to best gain from Chinese economic dominance.

Math and science need to be pushed at all levels of education.

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Response to Calista241 (Original post)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 09:50 AM

13. That's ridiculous.

Who owns the technology he's whining about? Not the Military or Air Force itself, it's owned by corporations. When the corporate factory builds a military technology for use by the Air Force the corporation develops it and owns it. Yeah, there are some parts of it that are supposed to be kept secret but you can't keep it secret from the person who is actually building it.

Now years ago, when filthy rich idiots in the US decided US labor was too expensive and made a massive move to relocate their manufacturing in foreign countries, (causing an economic crash) the corporations freely and willingly turned over the technology to China. It was agreed upon and done in exchange for factories with almost free Chinese labor. A lot of our so called technology is actually built in China.

So now they whine because the Chinese are using the technology we gave them. You can't keep something secret if you have thousands of people in foreign countries building it for you for cheap. This is what happens when you put profits above all else.

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Response to Farmer-Rick (Reply #13)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 04:51 PM

14. When My Company Built In China...

...there were product lines we would not make there.
Where expired patents existed, or where the chemical process was obvious, there was comfort.
Even where the chemistry was common knowledge "tricks" learned that essentially disputed/refuted the conventional wisdom was enough to keep that platform out of China.
The Chinese government is not be trusted, no matter how much they welcome foreign investment.
BTW: those two sites service China & Southeast Asia. Not a single pound of product is exported off the Asian continent.
There are some companies that moved into China, but not to close stuff in North America and then ship it here.
I agree with you in principle about these shortsighted moves to China (strictly tactical thinking, not strategy, even if they call it that.). But, not all US companies go to China for that shallow reason.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #14)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 05:03 PM

15. Well that's good to know

I don't know why we can't move all our manufacturing back to the US. If they can do it in China, why can't they do it in the US?

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Response to Farmer-Rick (Reply #15)

Thu Oct 14, 2021, 05:44 PM

16. Only Thing I Can Think Of...

...is that until that gigantic population becomes majority middle class & wages stop being so "attractive" labor is still super low cost.
It doesn't take a great strategic thinker to see cost cutting as profit boosting.
But, the damage done to the consumer base in the long term is overlooked. Because....they weren't thinking strategically. The next 10Q report is all that matters to these "Peters".

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