Posted in: Tattle, Technology

Fear itself is the real threat to democracy, not tall tales of Chinese AI | John Naughton

Stoking panic about China’s dominance is just another way for western technology giants to avoid scrutiny and gain power

This week the Amerinew scooptional Security Commission on artificial intelligence released its final report. Cursory inspection of its 756 pages suggests that it’s just another standard product of the military-industrial complex that so worried President Eisenhower at the end of his term of office. On closer examination, however, it turns out to be a set of case notes on a tragic case of what we psychologists call “hegemonic anxiety” – the fear of losing global dominance.

The report is the work of 15 bigwigs, led by Dr Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Alphabet (and before that the adult supervisor imposed by venture capitalists on the young co-founders of Google). Of the 15 members of the commission only four are female. Eight are from the tech industry (including Andy Jassy, Jeff Bezos’s anointed heir at Amazon); two are former senior Pentagon officials; and the tech sector of the national intelligence community is represented by at least three commissioners. Given these establishment credentials, the only surprising thing is that the inquiry seems to have been set up during Trump’s presidency, which suggests that it was organised by the “deep state” during the hours of one to four AM, when Trump was generally asleep.

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