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The Air Force has embraced the former software chief who resigned, warning that China is winning the AI ​​competition.

The Air Force says it sought input from its former chief software officer after his resignation and publicly warned that China was winning the race for artificial intelligence.

Nicholas Chilan resigned as the Air Force’s first chief software officer last month, publishing a resignation letter lamenting the government’s “backwardness” and then sounding the alarm that China would join hands with the United States. And cyber competition is winning.

Although Mr Cheylan’s critiques garnered news coverage depicting him as a desperate former employee fighting a man’s crusade, the government has privately sought his advice.

Instead of dismissing Mr. Chelan’s concerns, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall invited him to speak out.

In this discussion, Secretary Kendall thanked Mr. Chelan for his contribution to the Air Force, the two discussed Mr. Chelan’s recommendations for the department’s future software development, and Secretary Kendall thanked Mr. Chelan. Best wishes for their future endeavors. Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Justin Brockhoff said in an email. Secretary Kendall and Mr. Chelan left open the possibility of joining future talks.

The use of artificial intelligence involves machines designed to think and act like humans that perform a variety of tasks. China and the United States are trying to dominate the AI, which has spread to the commercial sector and can be used for planning, understanding and physical action against the opponent in the field of national security.

Mr. Chelan told the Washington Times that he had agreed to work as an unpaid consultant after contacting Mr. Kendall, which led him to believe that Mr. Kendall would make changes to help the U.S. government win the AI ​​race. Intend

Mr Chelan said: “The simple fact that he arrived after the public announcement of my exit, where most people just don’t care and move on, means to me, it tells me that He really wants to make things. ” . “Because if he was just pretending, and talking, he wouldn’t get to that.”

It remains to be seen whether the federal government will respond to Mr Chelan’s warnings. Mr Chelan had earlier said he was ready to take part in hearings with Congress but wanted part of it to remain unclassified so that the public could hear his point of view.

Other people outside the government think that the question of who will win the AI ​​competition is open. Jim Waldo, a Harvard computer science professor, said he was less disappointed with the United States’ prospects in the AI ​​war with China than with Mr. Chelan.

Mr Waldo noted that much of the US investment in technological innovation comes from the private sector, rather than from the government.

“The idea that this research is being led by the military is kind of ridiculous,” he said in an email. “But the use of technology through defense services must be increased, and funding from the government must be increased to encourage open development. We have not given up yet, but if we invest in the future. If not, we can.

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