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Washington Must Bet Big on AI or Lose Its Global Clout

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The technology race between the U.S. and China.

Advanced technologies are at the center of a new technological cold war between the U.S. and China.

Credit: Elena Lacey/Getty Images

The U.S. government must spend $25 billion on artificial intelligence (AI) research by 2025, stem the loss of foreign AI talent, and find new ways to prevent critical AI technology from being stolen and exported, according to a policy report issued Tuesday. Otherwise, it risks falling behind China and losing its standing on the world stage.

The report, from the Center for New American Security (CNAS), is the latest to highlight the importance of AI to the future of the U.S. It argues that the technology will define economic, military, and geopolitical power in coming decades.

Advanced technologies, including AI, 5G wireless services, and quantum computing, are already at the center of an emerging technological cold war between the U.S and China. The Trump administration has declared AI a national priority, and it has enacted policies, such as technology export controls, designed to limit China's progress in AI and related areas.

The CNAS report calls for a broader national AI strategy and a level of commitment reminiscent of the Apollo program. "If the United States wants to continue to be the world leader, not just in technology but in political power and being able to promote democracy and human rights, that calls for this type of effort," says Martijn Rasser, a senior fellow at CNAS and the lead author of the report.


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