AI Experts Warn Against Development Pause Amid Global Competition

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Military tech executives and experts testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee warning against a pause on AI development, arguing that it would benefit China and could lead to Chinese AI standards becoming the global norm.
The experts emphasized the risks of ceding AI leadership to China and called for striking a balance between regulation and development, as a full pause could harm the Department of Defense's ability to stay ahead of AI innovations.
The experts called for increased investment in AI capabilities, such as AI cybersecurity defenses, and advocated for restrictions on AI tools being sold to foreign governments and additional guardrails before their release to the public.
There were concerns over open-source AI and data protection, with suggestions for restrictions on AI tools sold to foreign governments and the need for regulations to govern AI development.
Senators and experts agreed that setting up regulations on AI would be more beneficial than requiring a halt in research, with suggestions for clamping down on open AI models, requiring licensing for new models, and imposing strict restrictions on AI technology exports.

 

Military tech executives and experts testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, arguing that a pause on artificial intelligence (AI) development would only benefit China and could lead to Chinese AI standards becoming the global norm.

The experts’ statements come in response to the recent open letter signed by AI experts, including Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak, urging for a six-month halt on AI development.

The Risks of Ceding AI Leadership to China

Dr. Jason Matheny, President and CEO of the Rand Corporation, and Shyam Sankar, CTO of Palantir, expressed concerns that a pause on AI development in the US would allow China to set international standards around AI use and development.

Sankar emphasized the importance of a “Democratic AI” and warned that the imposition of China’s recent regulatory guidelines, which prohibit AI models from criticizing the government, would be problematic if adopted worldwide.

Striking a Balance Between Regulation and Development

While the experts acknowledged the need for smart regulations guiding AI development, they cautioned that a full pause could harm the Department of Defense (DoD) and its ability to stay ahead of AI innovations.

Sankar criticized the military’s cautious approach to adopting new technology, comparing it to the rapid procurement of software by Ukraine’s military in response to Russian aggression.

Dr. Jason Matheny, President and CEO of the Rand Corporation, and Shyam Sankar, CTO of Palantir, expressed concerns that a pause on AI development in the US would allow China to set international standards around AI use and development.

Calls for Increased Investment in AI Capabilities

Sankar urged the DoD to spend at least 5% of its $768 billion budget on advanced technological solutions, such as those provided by Palantir, to deter adversaries.

Shift5 Co-founder and CEO, Dr. Josh Lospinoso, highlighted the potential for AI in bolstering the US military’s cybersecurity defenses and called for greater investment in making America’s weapons systems AI-ready.

Concerns Over Open Source AI and Data Protection

Matheny criticized open source AI companies, suggesting that their pursuit of free-flowing information could inadvertently assist military AI systems in other countries.

He advocated for restrictions on AI tools being sold to foreign governments and additional guardrails before their release to the public.

The experts also discussed the possibility of offensive actions to limit foreign military AI development, such as trade restrictions, sanctions on high-tech equipment, or even “data poisoning” by manipulating or corrupting datasets used to train military AI models.

Crafting Regulations to Govern AI Development

Senators and experts agreed that setting up regulations on AI would be more beneficial than requiring a halt in research.

Dr. Matheny suggested clamping down on open AI models, requiring licensing for new models, and imposing strict restrictions on AI technology exports to maintain control over AI development.

Craig Miller

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