Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S. as superpower
US intelligence agencies, which are responsible for protecting advanced technologies, have focused their focus on five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computers, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.
Why It Matters: China and Russia are using a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake US dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world's leading superpower or is overshadowed by strategic competitors."
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Driving News: The National Counterintelligence and Security Center has launched a campaign to warn U.S. corporations and researchers of foreign intelligence threats to these sectors targeted by the Chinese and Russian governments through international collaboration, talent recruitment and espionage:
AI: Officials warn that current trends suggest China has "the power, talent and ambition" to outperform the US in AI over the next decade, which could greatly exacerbate the threats posed by cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns.
Quantum: Some overseas countries spend significantly more on quantum development than the US, which makes them better able to recruit American talent. Whoever wins the race for quantum dominance could endanger the economic and national security communications of other countries, the paper claims.
Biotech: Competition in the global bioeconomy has intensified in recent decades as foreign countries stole technology and intellectual property from the US. As an example, the paper highlights breakthrough technologies in genomics that could be used for "surveillance and societal repression".
Semiconductors: The global nature of the semiconductor supply chain - which is currently disrupted - creates economic bottlenecks that adversaries can exploit. For example, the USA is extremely dependent on a company in Taiwan for important chip components.
Autonomous systems: The expansion of these systems for both military and civil purposes offers a "growing target for malicious cyber actors," warns the paper.
The big picture: Acting NCSC Director Michael Orlando told reporters that he was not in favor of “decoupling” the US and Chinese economies, but instead emphasized, “If you want to do business and work together, be smart. "
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