View profile

US-China trade war; Digital economy moves; And Peter Thiel

PayPal co-founder and tech billionaire Peter Thiel published an opinion piece in the New York Times a
August 3 · Issue #39 · View online
Asia AI News
PayPal co-founder and tech billionaire Peter Thiel published an opinion piece in the New York Times at the end of the week - ‘Good for Google, Bad for America’ - in a follow-up to his Washington DC speech a couple of weeks ago, during which he called for a probe into Google’s 'seemingly treasonous acts’.
In the current atmosphere of ’China fever’ and President Trump’s new trade tariffs, this has naturally gone down rather well in some circles and I’m sure Mr Thiel will be delighted with the publicity. 
Thiel’s primary assertion seems to be that Google is fueling Beijing’s military AI ambitions by opening an AI Lab in Beijing (and at the same time, pulling out of its Pentagon AI contract, which it did following pressure from Google staff). He points out that all research carried out in China can be shared with the People’s Liberation Army according to the Chinese constitution and the lines between civil and military research are blurred.
Are Google’s AI collaborations in China worthy of an investigation? That’s up to the U.S. administration to decide. However, it’s hard to blame Google for intentionally developing the China market for commercial gain, if it does so within U.S. trade regulations (which - by the way - look like they’re going to get a major overhaul sometime soon) . 
If Google - or any of the other U.S. technology companies that have invested in AI R&D in China (Amazon, IBM and Microsoft among them) - are breaking U.S. trade laws, then they would likely have been held to account already - and punitive measures from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security can be costly indeed!
Mr Thiel also seems to be aggravated by Google’s focus on being an 'AI-first’ company and taking that expertise to China. In reality, 'every man and his dog’ is now claiming 'AI-first’ and so, even with Google’s immense expertise, it is a little odd that this is a point of contention.
So, is it a question of loyalty and patriotism then? Surely, maximising market share and sales revenues from one of the USA’s primary export markets is about as patriotic as a American firm can get?
If not, please spare a thought for the companies that really fuel productivity in R&D centres, because, if Beijing’s tech R&D centres are anything like their counterparts in Silicon Valley, Coca Cola, Pepsico and Starbucks may be next on the list!
Have a great weekend!

Startup News
AI cybersecurity startup CyCraft raised $5.65 million in Series B funding
Thai robot revolution
An instant tutoring app is taking Japan and Korea by storm
Bytedance upgrades AI tool to identify vulgar content on news app Jinri Toutiao
Digital Economy
The Iot Institute to anchor Thailand Digital Valley
Malaysia has potential to become Asean’s digital hub: MDEC
Cuba and China collaborate to creation of artificial intelligence institute
Smart Cities
First AI-powered socioeconomic simulation center opens in HCMC
Thailand's SEC to use AI to probe price manipulation cases
AI key to boosting productivity and risk management in Southeast Asia's financial services
AI shows potential to differentiate pancreatic diseases on MR images
Let AI do the health check
China has started a grand experiment in AI education. It could reshape how the world learns.
You can now major in AI in China
US-China Trade War
The US-China trade war is back on: that's bad news for Huawei
Trump breaks ceasefire with 10% tariff on $300bn in Chinese imports
China pulls ahead of US in 5G race despite trade war, Huawei blacklisting
Interview: Mate Labs CEO & Co-Founder Rahul Vishwakarma
Good for Google, bad for America
'Chinese wisdom' to benefit economic globalisation
US and China should collaborate, not compete, to bring AI to healthcare
Follow Asia AI News on Twitter
Did you enjoy this issue?
If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue