When AI rules the world: China, the United States and the race to control a smart planet
Bombardier Books (Oct 2022)
How AI innovation and support in the US will “maximize benefits for the US and beyond”
Handel Jones immediately grabs his reader’s attention: “Rapidly and consistently, China has broken new ground in technological achievement in industries ranging from defense to motor vehicles, telecommunications, robotics, and healthcare. With strong government leadership and government investment, China has put itself in the once unimaginable position of potentially leading the United States in one industry after another. In particular, China is advancing full speed ahead in artificial intelligence, the master technology that will make other technologies possible in the near future. If nothing else, I thought, an examination of AI in China and the United States would provide a glimpse, for better or worse, of the future. That was the thought that led me to write this book.” (Page xiv)
Yes, this book serves as an analysis of the situation, a progress report if you will, but also as a warning and a reality check.
What to do? “The answer is simple: invest in ensuring technology leadership while enabling entrepreneurs to innovate. Financing is required to build structures that help companies operate efficiently within their respective areas of expertise, whether it be in automobiles, medical devices, or computer chips. The US government’s attempts to rein in Chica are short-sighted and simply won’t work. Rather, supporting innovation and implementation of AI in the home will bring the greatest dividends for America and the world. (Page xviii)
Jones explains with meticulous care WHAT must be accomplished in the months and years ahead. At the conclusion of his book, he explains HOW to achieve several strategic objectives with a national initiative I with these components:
1. Let the government run
two. Focus the government’s attention on deficiencies in the US defense and aerospace industries.
3. Focus government attention and resources on key industries
Four. Invest substantially in ongoing research and development
5. Fund and support key initiatives related to AI in the private sector
6. And ffocus business and capital markets on investment and long-term planning
For most executives in the public and private sectors who have little (or no) understanding of the nature and extent of AI’s relevance in the global marketplace, this is a must-read that I recommend without hesitation or mistake.
And I urge those who share my great respect for this brilliant book to consult The innovation ultimatum: Six strategic technologies that will reshape every company in the 2020s (Wiley, February 2020). In it, Steve Brown focuses on the challenges facing C-level executives today, which are happening faster and in greater numbers than ever before. “There is a huge, rapidly growing gulf between the capabilities of companies that invest in technology and those that don’t.
“It is a time of reckoning. Emerging technologies will empower brave innovators to take giant steps, while those without vision, courage and agility will wither and perish. The winners will change the world.” Literally, here is the imperative: “Innovate or die.”
Brown focuses on six technologies that intimately connect the digital and physical worlds. He devotes a separate chapter to each in Part 1: artificial intelligence (AI); sensors and Internet of Things (IOT); autonomous machines: robots, cobots, drones and autonomous vehicles; distributed leaders and blockchains; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; and those that connect everything and everyone: 5G networks and satellite constellations.
I believe that Brown’s book, as well as Handel Jones’s, is a “must read” for leaders of all organizations, regardless of their size and nature.