Silicon Valley’s political liberalism is having interesting national security consequences. I’ve talked before
about the new power of talent in Big Tech and the impact that’s having on corporate behaviour. The most striking example so far is Google’s abandoning of Project Maven
, an AI collaboration with the US Department of Defense, following an employee backlash. Business Insider has a good piece
that looks at the impact of this and the Pentagon’s fears of competing with a China that has tight state/big tech/military/academic integration on AI.
This may be the first time that the private sector has had a decisive talent advantage in a militarily relevant technology (compare nuclear physics or cryptography in earlier decades). It’s not yet clear how the West can or should adapt to this. Certainly the Chinese approach is chilling:
“I asked somebody who spends time in China working on AI could there be a Google/Project Maven scenario,” Shanahan said Friday. “He laughed and said, ‘Not for very long.’”