The Dual-Use Dilemma in China’s New AI Plan: Leveraging Foreign Innovation Resources and …

On July 20, China’s State Council issued the “New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan” (新一代人工智能发展规划), which articulates an ambitious, three-step agenda for China to lead the world in AI. The Chinese leadership recognizes that AI will be critical to its “comprehensive national power” and competitiveness, including in national defense. Through this new strategic framework, China will undertake a “three in one” (三位一体) agenda in AI: tackling key problems in research and development, pursuing a range of products and applications, and cultivating AI industry. China wants to become a “premier global AI innovation center” by 2030. This plan seeks to redress current shortcomings and build up indigenous capabilities in innovation. The effort will include extensive government funding and investments, along with a focus on attracting and developing leading talent in AI. China will pursue cutting-edge research and development that could enable paradigm changes, including brain-inspired AI and quantum-accelerated machine learning. The Chinese leadership thus hopes to “occupy the commanding heights” of AI science and technology, leapfrogging the U.S. in the process.  Consequently, China plans to coordinate and optimize its use of both domestic and international “innovation resources.” Of note, the plan calls for encouraging cooperation between domestic AI enterprises and leading…


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