The artificial intelligence arms race

Cyberspace is now a territory where politics, economics, and foreign affairs are all contested – and Internet bots driven by artificial intelligence have emerged as key new actors, Andrej Zwitter writes. Artificial intelligence (AI) is pervading all aspects of our lives. As one of the primary methods of analysing unstructured and messy data sets, it has become synonymous with big data. And with much of the globally produced data being transmitted via the Internet, a new cyber landscape has emerged, a parallel digital world that still requires the carving out of territories and rules. These territories are currently dominated by large corporate actors, such as search engines and social media networks, which themselves compete over access to the new raw material – data. It is roamed by vigilantes and cyber criminals. But states also need to define their own role in this new world. In recognition of this need, states are increasingly investing in artificial intelligence. China recently announced an IT strategy focusing on artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and robotics. In doing so, the country is trying to ride the wave of renewed interest in emergent technologies around cyberspace, hoping to gain an economic advantage and position itself as technology…


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