China’s capabilities in artificial intelligence are “much closer than I thought” to catching up to the US, former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt told Nikkei Asia, stressing that America would not succeed without a “very strong partnership with our Asian friends”.
In an online interview, Schmidt, now chair of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, said China was closing in on the US in certain areas of AI and quantum computing — faster than his previous estimate of “a couple of years”.
“That’s a really, really big deal,” he said.
Schmidt stepped down as executive chair of Google parent Alphabet in 2018. He was nominated as the commission chair in 2019 to make AI-related policy recommendations to the US president and Congress.
The commission’s final report, released in March, warned that “if the United States does not act, it will probably lose its leadership position in AI to China in the next decade and become more vulnerable to a spectrum of AI-enabled threats from a host of state and non-state actors”.
This article is from Nikkei Asia, a global publication with a uniquely Asian perspective on politics, the economy, business and international affairs. Our own correspondents and outside commentators from around the world share their views on Asia, while our Asia300 section provides in-depth coverage of 300 of the biggest and fastest-growing listed companies from 11…