Feb 16, 2019

AI wrote this story

Photo illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios, Photo: Jim Watson/Getty Images

I wrote the first two sentences in italics below — they're from a story we published in Monday's Axios Future newsletter. Then, a new computer program created at OpenAI wrote the rest, on the first try.

  • We added bolding and bullet points to mimic Axios style, but didn't change the computer-generated text at all.
  • A very important note: Everything you'll read below, after the italicized intro — quotes, "facts" and all — is not true. The AI program invented them.
  • Go deeper: Learn more about the OpenAI prose-mimicking program

On the heels of a sweeping new U.S. plan to retain dominance in artificial intelligence, the Pentagon has cast Chinese development of intelligent weapons as an existential threat to the international order.

A day after the release of an executive order by President Trump that omits naming China, the Defense Department, in a new AI strategy document, speaks in stark terms of a "destabilizing" Chinese threat.

It warns of a "new arms race in AI" and says the United States "will not sit idly by" as a "highly advanced new generation of weapons capable of waging asymmetric warfare" is "possessed by aggressive actors."

Related: New White House plan on China may spark a cyber arms race

"China uses new and innovative methods to enable its advanced military technology to proliferate around the world, particularly to countries with which we have strategic partnerships," the Pentagon said in its five-page strategy outline last week.

The new U.S. strategy will be a major component of the White House's first National Security Strategy, coming in two parts in September.

  • The first part, which Trump wants to roll out in full by June, is a much more traditional geopolitical playbook focused on the threats posed by China and Russia.
  • The second part of the NSS is "a broad review of all U.S. national security interests, and the potential new relationships needed for those interests," the document said.

"The President has directed me to undertake a study of our strategy toward a world of artificial intelligence," Defense Secretary James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,309, 439 — Total deaths: 72,638 — Total recoveries: 273,546Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 347, 003 — Total deaths: 10,335 — Total recoveries: 18,953Map.
  3. 2020 update: Wisconsin governor issues executive order to delay in-person primary voting until June.
  4. Public health latest: Asymptomatic children could play important role in coronavirus spread, new data from the CDC shows.
  5. States' latest: West coast states send ventilators to New York and other states experiencing a more immediate need — Data suggests coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  6. Jobs latest: Unemployment could already be at 13% "and moving higher," per former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Wisconsin governor issues order to delay in-person primary voting until June

Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) issued an executive order Monday delaying in-person voting for the state's primary election — currently scheduled for Tuesday — until June 9.

Why it matters: Wisconsin was slated to be the only state to vote on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic, despite having a stay-at-home order in place.

Go deeperArrow54 mins ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll reaches 10,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 10,000 in the U.S. on Monday, per Johns Hopkins data. More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died of coronavirus-related conditions each day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday the coming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health