Cyber security is a priority concern with far-reaching ramifications. From crippling personal computing with malware and trojan horses, stealing sensitive data from large collection sites (such as Facebook), threatening America’s infrastructure, and putting our military’s capabilities at risk, cyber threats are real, deadly, and represent an existential threat.
In a June report to CNN’s “State of the Union,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm noted that “Adversaries to the U.S. are capable of shutting down the nation’s electrical grid…” and noted that “such cybersecurity attacks are happening all the time.”
These realities, and the perception that America is not responding to the threat adequately, led Nicolas Chaillan to resign his position as software chief at the Pentagon and post scathing reports on the state of America’s readiness.
Nicolas Chaillan, 37, reported he resigned because “China has already won the tech war” and some American counterpart technologies were “kindergarten level” in comparison.
On Saturday, Chaillan shared his considered opinion that China’s victory in the tech war is a foregone conclusion, noting he expects China will completely dominate the world in 15-20 years.
Chaillan’s concerns are not unique. At a July symposium hosted by the U.S.National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, senior leaders from NATO, the Pentagon, and Indo-Pacific nations warned of the “threat posed by China’s technological rise and ambition to become the world’s leader in artificial intelligence.”
Chaillan views the U.S. response as weak and negligent, complaining there is “good reason to be angry” and advocates prioritizing the development of A.I. technology over the enhancement of traditional weapons systems such as new fighter jets. Chaillan’s recent comments have been clear and critical. In a posting on LinkedIn, he cited U.S. bureaucracy as a major factor in hampering our ability to match pace with China.
Raising eyebrows, Chaillan attacked Google for not working with the U.S. Defense Department on A.I. projects while Chinese tech companies are forced to work with Beijing. He also criticized America’s tendency to debate ethics while China has no reservation in making “massive investments” in developing this technology.
Chaillan will testify to Congress in the coming weeks on the rising Chinese cyber threat to U.S. interests.
After resigning, Chaillan stated: “At this point, I am just tired of continuously chasing support and money to do my job.” Speaking of his work at the Pentagon, he said it was “probably the most challenging and infuriating of my entire career.”
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