The “Red Threat” drove U.S. foreign policy for more than 50 years. From the long telegram to the Domino theory, détente and the downfall of the wall, the fear of being the world’s second best steered decision making. Today, the power balance in the world is propelled by digital forces – data, intelligence, AI, etc – and it seems, an old alliance is reinforcing policy.
On Friday, Axios reported a soon-to-be announced partnership between the United States and the United Kingdom to join forces in the research and development of artificial intelligence. The announcement follows a similar development from the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence announced in May.
"America and our allies must lead the world in shaping the development of cutting edge AI technologies and protecting against authoritarianism and repression," said Michael Kratsios, U.S. chief technology officer. "We are proud to join our special partner and ally, the United Kingdom, to advance AI innovation for the well-being of our citizens, in line with shared democratic values.”
The impetus for the highly cooperative approach is a familiar one: fear. Put simply, the U.S. and U.K. feel two heads are better than one in the competition with China for AI supremacy. According to a recent report from Oxford Insights and the International Development Research Centre, a number of the world’s most advanced nations are prioritizing and practicing responsible AI.
Richard Stirling, CEO of Oxford Insights explained, “Nations from the US and the UK to Russia, China and Israel need to ensure that as they implement AI technologies they do it in a way that benefits all their citizens.”
The race to AI dominance will be popcorn worthy, as America, China and the United Kingdom have the three highest proportions of AI unicorns. I’m certainly not comparing these innovative startups to nuclear warheads, but much the same, perspective says there are no points for second place. Just saying…
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