Surveillance for Freedom

In August 2018, the National Defense Authorization Act for 2019 established the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI). Its primary directive is “to consider the methods and means necessary to advance the development of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and associated technologies to comprehensively address the national security and defense needs of the United States.” Its commissioners were appointed by the Secretaries of Defense and Commerce, and by members of Congress. NSCAI is chaired by ex-CEO of Google Eric Schmidt, who is also the chair of the US Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Advisory Board. The commission includes officials from Oracle, In-Q-Tel (CIA’s venture capital arm), Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Stanford Research Institute (SRI), and others.

“Think Different.” — Apple, Inc.

NSCAI’s recommendations for the AI industry are in keeping with a long tradition of the U.S Government taking the lead in crafting entire technology industries for strategic, economic and political purposes. The state has always played the foundational role in producing scientific breakthroughs and funding applied research that yields innovative technologies. The process of pulling scientific understanding from nature’s void, developing techniques for basic research based on the theories, and converting this research into applied technologies is a long, challenging and risky endeavor that often takes decades to materialize. Such a process is simply not conducive for private capital’s requirement for de-risked, short-term profit.

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Writing about politics, philosophy, technology and current affairs. Questioning ideologies of power and discussing alternatives. Twitter: @ap_prose

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Writing about politics, philosophy, technology and current affairs. Questioning ideologies of power and discussing alternatives. Twitter: @ap_prose