Nicolas Chaillan, a senior US cybersecurity official at the Pentagon, announced he had quit his position. His reason is that he believed that competing with China on AI is impossible.
Chaillan joined the US Air Force as its first chief software officer in 2018. The military tasked him to equip it with the most secure and advanced software possible.
However, Chaillan quit on September 2nd, 2021. In a resignation post on LinkedIn, he describes the Pentagon’s lack of initiative to make cybersecurity and AI a priority. Providing more details for his decision on resigning.
Chaillan’s On The Race To Artificial Intelligence
Since leaving his post, he told the Financial Times that China was far ahead of the US in his first interview.
“We have no competing fighting chance against China in fifteen to twenty years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over, in my opinion,” Chaillan said. Adding that some government departments’ AI capabilities and cyber defenses were at “kindergarten level.”
Several US departments have experienced hacking attempts and ransomware attacks in recent years.
Chaillan further revealed that US national security is compromised due to Google’s refusal to work with the government on AI. Google discontinued a partnership with the Pentagon in 2018 after 12 employees quit over a project that made software improve the accuracy of drone strikes.
However, in China, Chaillan claims that private cyber and AI companies were at their beck and call.
China aims to become the leading AI superpower by 2030. Furthermore, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence stated the US is “not prepared to defend the United States in the coming artificial intelligence era.”
“I am just tired of continuously chasing support and money to do my job. My office still has no billet and no funding, this year and the next,” Chaillan addressed.
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