On Geopolitics

How the U.S.-China Power Competition Is Shaping the Future of AI Ethics

Rebecca Keller
Senior Science and Technology Analyst, Stratfor
Oct 18, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
A U.S. Air Force MQ-1B Predator unmanned aerial vehicle returns from a mission to an air base in the Persian Gulf region.

A U.S. Air Force MQ-1B Predator unmanned aerial vehicle returns from a mission to an air base in the Persian Gulf region. At the dawn of the nuclear age, the scientific community questioned the ethical nature of using nuclear understanding for military purposes. More recently, companies in Silicon Valley have been asking similar questions about whether their technological developments should be used in warfare.

(JOHN MOORE/Getty Images)

Controversial new technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence are quickly becoming ubiquitous, prompting ethical questions about their uses in both the private and state spheres. A broader shift on the global stage will drive the regulations and societal standards that will, in turn, influence technological adoption. As countries and corporations race to achieve technological dominance, they will engage in a tug of war between different sets of values while striving to establish ethical standards. Western values have long been dominant in setting these standards, as the United States has traditionally been the most influential innovative global force. But China, which has successfully prioritized economic growth and technological development over the past several decades, is likely to play a bigger role in the future when it comes to tech ethics....

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