Aug 4, 2018

Artificial intelligence: The threat of the future

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios 

Multiple experts cited artificial intelligence as a force multiplier amplifying existing threats. Axios Future Editor Steve LeVine explains how AI creates a danger all its own:

For the U.S. and China, AI is the equivalent of the Cold War arms race. The security and political apparatus in both countries view dominating the AI future as both an economic and military imperative.

The reason is the nature of AI — a general-purpose technology that will spawn today-unknown industries and weapons classes. 

  • Once a country possesses a machine with human intelligence, it could have the capability to keep all rivals at bay in perpetuity.

But only China has made this a national strategic goal and put enormous sums behind getting there. The U.S. has yet to take this step, instead relying on private industry, in particular Silicon Valley giants like Google and Microsoft, to carry the country's interests.      

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.