Peter Thiel er en av de få innen Big Tech som er konservativ. Her under det republikanske konventet i Cleveland, Ohio, 26. juli 2016. Foto: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/Scanpix
Google deler noe av sin mest avanserte forskning innen kunstig intelligens med Kina, men avslår å samarbeide med det amerikanske forsvaret, sier med-grunnlegger av Paypal, Peter Thiel.
In particular, Thiel said he is most concerned about Google’s sharing of its artificial intelligence called “DeepMind,” what he deems the tech firm’s “crown jewel.” DeepMind was founded in 2010 and purchased by Google four years later. The search giant opened its AI research lab in China, the same year that the nation amended its constitution to include a mandate that requires all research done inside the country to be shared with its armed forces (the People’s Liberation Army).
“I think it is unprecedented in the last 100 years, or ever, that a major U.S. company refused to work with U.S. military and has worked with our geopolitical rival,” he said. “So this is not a liberal-conservative thing … this is absolutely unprecedented.”
While Thiel stopped short of calling the company’s alleged links to China treasonous (though he has previously used the term regarding the same matter), he described the company’s self-image as “globalist,” “post-national” and “cosmopolitan,” adding that he believes “more that it’s incredibly insular.” The billionaire noted the first step toward making change is to talk about the issue.
“This is an open secret in Silicon Valley,” Thiel said. “A lot of people think this is like kind of crazy what Google’s doing … And I sort of feel like I’m the little kid saying ‘the emperor has no clothes.’ It’s the secret hidden in plain sight.”
Kinas intellektuelle og teknologiske tyveri har vært en av hovedanklagene amerikanerne har mot Kina. Nå er det altså et USA-basert selskap som opererer i Kina, men nekter å dele kunnskapen med det amerikanske forsvaret.
Det siste året er trusselen fra Kina blitt satt på dagsorden i Washington og oppfatningen er tverrpolitisk.