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America must work with rival countries to develop international norms for the development of technologies such as artificial intelligence, or it will face increasingly difficult challenges in tackling disinformation and cyber warfareexperts said.
“I like to think of it like it was 20 years ago in technology, when we were incredibly naive,” Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO and current chairman of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, said Friday in Aspen. Security Forum. “I was very naive about the impact of what we were doing. Now I understand that information is everything: it is incredibly powerful.”
Much of the security forum focused on various issues that the United States and its Western allies face internationally, starting with rival countries Russia, China and Iran.
“When we talk about information operations, we usually say that the Russians are the most prolific, the Chinese are the most sophisticated, and the Iranians are the most evil,” said Brad Smith, CEO of Microsoft. “Most of their anger is directed not at the United States, but at American allies.”
Three countries mostly make headlines for their more obvious military aggression against neighboring countries – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; China’s posturing about a possible invasion of Taiwan; as well as Iran supports the Houthis in various countries in the Middle East.
But cybersecurity experts have tried to draw more attention to the realm of cyberwarfare, including both the use of disinformation and technology development to improve weapons and information technology.
“So I think the first point I would like to make is that I think the government and other institutions need to put more pressure on technology to make these things align with our values and so on,” he continued. “I suspect that we all agree – we can discuss how to do it, but it requires conversation, requires participation.”
Schmidt emphasized the complexities involved in negotiating a possible artificial intelligence agreement between the countries: he argued that finding common ground between China and the United States would probably be more difficult than people think, despite the obvious importance and necessity of such agreements.
“How would we do it?” he asked the Chinese side. “Who should we call? I tried to find this person and can’t find it. We are not ready for the negotiations we need.”
He liked artificial intelligence nuclear weaponthe latter showing that rival countries can agree on procedures and systems for vital and dangerous assets.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. and the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence noted that America did create a problem in the 1990s by abandoning efforts to create an international norm for cyber rules.
“I understand this because there are still people in our government, and I have some sympathy for this,” he explained. “Let’s say we stick to cyber norms and the bad guys won’t – I think we should at least discuss, say if you destroy the healthcare system: should there be a lower attribution rule in terms of harassing actors than if you filming something else?
Smith agreed, urging the US to find ways to develop “stricter regulations” for cyberspace.
“I think sometimes people are too quick to ignore the importance of international norms by saying things like, ‘Well, why do we need to make rules when we know other people will break them?’ he added. “The truth is, there has never been a rule that someone hasn’t broken. That’s why we have police and courts.”
But the rules themselves do not limit the possibilities and use of such technologies: the development of physical hardware should also be a priority, Warner said.
“America won about 33% chip production “About seven or eight years ago or ten years ago – we dropped to about 10 or 11%,” he said. “China has almost done the exact opposite of that, and they are, you know, again north of $150 billion in direct subsidies to this area.”