US, China competition for artificial intelligence dominance will 'dictate the future of humanity' warn experts

The U.S. and China are both investing time and resources into developing AI, but experts disagree on who will be the front-runner to shape modern society

As artificial intelligence (AI) systems rapidly advance, the U.S. and China are both investing time and resources into developing the technology, but experts are divided on who controls the most advanced systems, who will be the front-runner to shape free speech and power in modern society. 

"The race between the U.S. and China, I think it's going to dictate the future of humanity," Dr. Michael Capps, the CEO of Diveplane, told Fox News Digital. 

"The Chinese government, Chinese military, and Chinese technology are all working in concert to win the AI race," he added. "In the United States, I would say that US technologists are working on it really hard, but not the government, and not the military. They're talking about it, and they're thinking about it, but it's such a tiny bit of our discourse in Congress, its such a tiny bit of our military budgets, it's not a focus. President Xi is 100% focused on it. Putin has said whoever wins the air race, wins World War III before it happens."

This race, which Capps said would determine the future of humanity, is in some ways like the 21st Century Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union, Gordon Chang, the author of "The Coming Collapse of China" told Fox News Digital. 


In other way it is "actually more important because artificial intelligence will mean that countries will be able to have stronger economies," Chang added. 

"If they have stronger economies, they'll have stronger militaries, they'll be better societies," he said. "So really what we're talking about is a race for the 21st Century."

AI China

Experts weighed American and Chinese military and civil investments in artificial intelligence and while some believe the U.S. has a slight advantage in developing the technology currently, others worry China has already surpassed U.S. capability.  (Getty Images)


Capps applauded the $140 million investment by the U.S. government to fund "responsible" AI research by the National Science Foundation, but he said It's nothing compared to what Google spent this month. Unless the U.S. makes a "dramatic change" now, Capps said China is "going to be way ahead of us." 

From a military defense perspective, he said the U.S. used to be ahead, but China has "caught up" and is now "moving faster than us." 

placeholder"I think that's kind of the key problem, is we've been ahead in AI for 20 years and at this point, most folks think we're ahead in maybe 30% of the categories of AI development, and they're moving faster," he added. 
Semiconductor chip from China

There are two companies that make the world's most sophisticated chips, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) which makes about 92% of them, while the rest are made by Samsung in South Korea.  (REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration)


Not all experts share that same concern, though. Nic McKinley, the founder and Chairman of DeliverFund, said he is "not concerned" about China. 

Developments in artificial intelligence, McKinley said, require human talent, and the United States dominates the market when it comes to talent. 

"We win on the talent, and on the computer, and on the institutions required to run all of them. The algorithms are easy to replicate," McKinley said. "China is very good at knocking off other people’s ideas, not really good at generating their own because they don’t have the incentive structure to create that. So while the generative AIs that are currently in the news cycle, all of those that are in the news cycle are made in America, conceptualized in America, created in America." 

But, the stakes are high for whichever country is able to gain the most advanced technology. James Czerniawski, a senior policy analyst at Americans for Prosperity, told Fox News Digital that he does believe the U.S. and China are sort of "space race" for AI dominance and whoever wins the race will benefit from dictating the controls of the new technological age. 

"It's a very powerful thing if you are able to go and get there first, there are a lot of things that you get as a first mover in that space and getting to that pinnacle first and foremost," he said. "As it stands in that race right now, the United States has had the edge and has maintained its edge, but that's not a status that's guaranteed in perpetuity. The United States has to do everything in its power to make sure that it is setting up to be successful."

placeholderCzerniawski explained that China has made significant investments using state capital in an attempt to close that gap and while they've made good strides in doing so, he highlighted the importance of chips to advance and power AI. 

There are two companies that make the world's most sophisticated chips, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) which makes about 92 percent of them, while the rest are made by Samsung in South Korea, Chang told Fox News Digital.  

"Both of those areas are friends of the U.S., South Korea is even a treaty ally, but they're both close to China and they both have business ties with Chinese companies, so this is up for the United States to exert our geopolitical influence on both Seoul and Taipei," he said. "This is something that we can do. This is something we haven't done to the extent we should and this is an area where the Biden administration, I think, is going to be tested."

"The United States will have a lead, it's a question of whether we are willing to impose those prohibitions and restrictions on transfers to China," he added. "The business community wants to go all in on helping Beijing. We should not, of course, permit that."


He believes that right now, we are ahead of China in AI innovation because we have much more sophisticated computer chips, especially those made by Nvidia, which are used for computational learning of AI systems.

"The Biden administration, to its credit, restricted the sale of the most sophisticated chips to China … last October, but China is using workarounds to see if they can make up for that," he said. 

Chinese Flag

One expert argued there is a fundamental difference between the Space Race of the Cold War and the race to establish dominance in AI.  (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon - RTX240F5)

Christopher Alexander, the CCO of Liberty Blockchain, said the U.S. "appears" to have a technological edge when it comes to AI, but said there was a fundamental difference between this technological competition and the space race. 

"The Space Race, even the Cold War, had a defined objective that was governmental," he explained. "There was no private sector component, so when you look at Chinese advances, they've basically been playing catch up for the past 20 years and their focus has largely been, as I understand it, on commercial stuff."

Chang said China has different priorities when it comes to AI, but Xi Jinping no doubt wants to dominate AI to assert control and boost China's economy despite political hurdles. 

"He has a problem, though, and that is that AI can be politically sensitive and so Beijing is using political reviews on all AI roll out and that really slows China down," he said. "This is not a critical problem for Beijing, but it is a problem and it certainly doesn't help when a competitor is behind the [AI] leader."

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