Faced with the seemingly slow development of Artificial Intelligence [AI] in the United States that would endanger the nation, former Pentagon software chief Nick Chaillan found no other recourse but to resign from his post in protest and warning. 

Chaillan believes that his country has lost its leadership to the Chinese communist regime, stating, “We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion,” according to Financial Times on Oct 10. 

Also, referring to some U.S. cyber defense systems, he mentioned that they were at a “kindergarten level.” Chaillan resigned from his post last month. He is a French-born tech entrepreneur who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2016.

Then, comparing the relationship of the two countries’ government systems with private companies for the development of Artificial Intelligence, he pointed out important aspects. 

In the U.S., private companies, such as Google, are reluctant to collaborate with the federal government. There is attention to the ethical issues involved, and these circumstances imprint a relatively slow pace. 

Whereas Chinese companies are obliged to participate with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the evolution of AI without paying attention to certain ethical requirements and making massive investments.  

“The DoD should stop pretending they want industry folks to come and help if they are not going to let them do the work. While we wasted time in bureaucracy, our adversaries moved further ahead,” Chaillan said, according to The Hill.

Chaillan also urged the DoD to value people with experience in that branch of science rather than turning it over to inexperienced people. 

“We would not put a pilot in the cockpit without extensive flight training; why would we expect someone with no IT experience to be close to successful?” he said, according to RT.

On the other hand, he argues that although Washington spends three times as much on defense compared to Beijing, the budget is misapplied. 

Thus, he explained that AI and other emerging technologies are priorities compared to massive, high-budget hardware projects, such as the F-35 fifth-generation fighter jets. 

He also alluded to NASA, saying that it is: “a little bit of a disgrace that we had to wait for SpaceX to bring a capability to allow us to send Americans back to the ISS and not depend on the Russians.” 

It is to be remembered that Souyz rockets are the ones that carry NASA astronauts to orbit from the shutdown of the shuttle program in 2011 until 2020 when SpaceX developed the capability to send humans into space.

On the other hand, he already regrets resigning from his post, an act he now considers lacking in patriotism. 

“I will always feel some guilt or regret in leaving. I have this sinking feeling that I am letting our warfighters, the teams, and my children down by not continuing to fight for a better outcome 20 years from now,” Chaillan concluded

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