Google should be investigated by the FBI and CIA for allegedly sharing artificial intelligence (AI) technology with the Chinese government, which could be used against the United States, Peter Thiel said Sunday.
AI “clearly has a lot of military applications,” the tech entrepreneur said in an interview on Fox News‘ Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.
“The question about Chinese interest in [Google’s artificial intelligence development] is one that needs to be looked at much more carefully. That’s why I’ve argued that the FBI or the CIA should be looking at this,” Thiel told Bartiromo. “This is not a liberal-conservative thing. This is absolutely unprecedented.”
“Google has a major AI research lab in China, where, even though it’s not working directly with the Chines military, in effect, all the technology gets handed on to the Chinese military,” Thiel warned.
“This is in black-and-white in the constitution of the Chinese Communist Party, as of 2017, it got amended to stress that there needs to be civil-military fusion in China, where all things need to be integrated. Anything that has civilian use must also be handed over to the People’s Liberation Army, the PLA,” he added.
The New York Times recently published his op-ed on Aug. 1, in which he describes his fear of Google’s cooperation with the Communist Chinese government.
“A.I. is a military technology,”wrote Thiel, who acquired his $2.5 billion net worth through a number of different entrepreneurial investments, including co-founding PayPal and becoming one of Facebook’s first outside investors. “Forget the sci-fi fantasy; what is powerful about actually existing A.I. is its application to relatively mundane tasks like computer vision and data analysis. Though less uncanny than Frankenstein’s monster, these tools are nevertheless valuable to any army — to gain an intelligence advantage, for example, or to penetrate defenses in the relatively new theater of cyberwarfare, where we are already living amid the equivalent of a multinational shooting war.”
China is closing the gap between themselves and the United States, which is currently ahead in developing AI, poses a serious threat the United States’ dominance, according to a report written in September 2018, authored by Reps. Will Hurd of Texas and Robin Kelly of Illinois, the chairman and top Democrat of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on information technology.
AI “has the potential to disrupt every sector of society in both anticipated and unanticipated ways,” the report said. “In light of that potential for disruption, it’s critical that the federal government address the different challenges posed by AI, including its current and future applications.”
While U.S. researchers have been leading the way in developing AI, spending $407 billion in 2015, China has boosted its research and development of the technology by 200 percent between 2000 and 2015.