China Is ‘Dangerously Close’ to US in AI Race, DOD AI Chief Says

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The Pentagon must move faster to standardize its data, adopt cloud services and integrate AI into operations if it is to keep ahead of China’s prowess in artificial intelligence, the head of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, or JAIC, said Tuesday. Beijing is accelerating its Made in China 2025 effort and aims “to be dominant in the AI space in 2030,” Lt. Gen. Michael Groen told a National Defense Industrial Association audience. He noted that Pentagon budgeteers are currently building five-year Program Objective Memorandums out to 2027. “You know, to a Marine, that’s danger close,” Groen said.

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Groen said that integrating networks across the Defense Department and pressing forward with new enterprise-level cloud capabilities and common data standards was going to be key to helping the U.S. military stay ahead.

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“If we are not in an integrated enterprise, we’re going to fail,” he said. “If we’re still flying in hard drives [to remote bases] because it’s more efficient to fly in a hard drive then connect our networks, that’s a symptom that we’re not where we need to be,” he said.


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