United States on the Verge of Losing Its Technological Superiority

By Ron Munden — 3/10/2021

The United States quality of life is due in no small part to the technological superiority that it has possessed since WWII.  I have written on my concerns about the US losing that superiority  for the last 15 years.

Recently I have also written about the Country’s second civil war which is underway in this country today.

On Sunday I heard a program that was consistent with my concerns about losing our superiority but they projected the United States could lose its technology lead in a much shorter time.

Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, was interviewed  by Fareed Zakaria.  Mr. Schmidt is the chairman of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.  This blue ribbon committee, composed of 15 people, was tasked to do an assessment of the role of AI in the future and the United States position in the field.

The commission was established two years ago.  It provided its report to the White House and Congress last week.The commission concluded that AI will be sprinkled throughout the entire world economy in the future. It will be the basis of everything we deal with over the next 5 to 10 years.  The three examples he mentioned were information technology, medical care, and automobiles.

AI is becoming an essential part of the world economy;particularly in developed countries like the United States.

Mr. Schmidt said that today the United States is ahead of China in AI technology but is at high risk of losing that lead fairly quickly.  China has decided to focus on taking the leadership role in AI by 2030.  It is committed to doing whatever is required to take the leadership role away from the US.  

The Commission believes that this problem is a national emergency and unless the country gets its act together quickly China will take the lead very soon.  They feel the race for AI development must become a focus of the federal government.  Even though most of the commission’s members were from the private sector, they feel that the federal government  must take the lead.  We are in a race and our competitor is China.  China has committed to spending the resources required to win the race.

The United States continues to have the best innovators today but Chain already has the lead in facial recognition and electronic commerce.  China has a significant lead in 5G communication technology and is committed to taking the lead in synthetic bio technology.

Today China is our global competitor.  Three advantages China has today are:  Large data sets, which are important to AI.  A larger and more educated workforce than is available in the US today. Today China has twice as many  supercomputers than the US. The worlds fastest computer was built in China using Chinese designed parts. Finally, China has lots of money that it has committed to winning the race.

America could still win the race but it is not organized to win the race today.  To win it would need to commit to a very significant increase in R&D funding and a massive increase in training.  

Today, China  has much more money and very smart people committed to their goal.  China has global ambitions.   Today, the United States is not prepared to compete.

What does the United States have to lose?  Alot!

The market winner is looking at $55 trillion in business over the next 20 years.

The AI winner has not yet determined but the United States needs to act now if it hopes to stay in the game.  The report submitted to the White House and Congress  recommends doubling the country’s R&D funding each year until it is up to $30 billion a year.  That sounds like a lot of money until you realize that there is a $55 trillion market at stake.

If we don’t make this  investment the next great technology companies will come from China.  20% of the US stock market is in technology.  Soon this sector of the stock market may be technology companies owned by another country – not the USA. Also our national security is based on us being the leaders in technology.

Mr. Schmidt listed additional markets that the US could lose — energy, robotics and adaptive manufacturing.

That concluded Mr. Schmidt’s remarks.

After the program I thought — A divided nation cannot stand and there will also be another nation ready to take its place.

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