Eric Schmidt warns China will overtake US in AI by 2025

Alphabet boss Eric Schmidt has warned the Chinese are poised to erase a key American advantage — and says the Trump administration is helping them.

‘I’m assuming our [U.S.] lead will continue over the next five years and then that China will catch up extremely quickly,’ the Google leader told the Center for New American Security’s Paul Scharre at the Artificial Intelligence & Global Security Summit on Wednesday, according to Defense One.

Schmidt, who also chairs the Defense Innovation Advisory Board, said the key difference was the importance the Chinese government put on AI – and slammed Donald Trump’s administration for falling behind.


Schmidt said the key difference was the importance the Chinese government put on AI – as slammed Donald Trump’s administration for slashing funds for basic science and research.

‘We need to get our act together, as a country…This is the moment when the [U.S.] government collectively, and private industry, needs to say, ‘these technologies are important.’  

In July, China unveiled its national plan for the future of artificial intelligence.

‘By 2020, they will have caught up. By 2025, they will be better than us. By 2030, they will dominate the industries,’ Schmidt said.

Trump’s 2018 budget request slashes funds for basic science and research by $4.3 billion, roughly 13 percent compared to 2016.  

‘It feels, as an American, that we are fighting this conflict with one hand behind our back. 

‘What I would rather do is not adopt the Chinese policies, but…fund basic research. The Trump budget does reduce that. It’s the wrong direction,’ Schmidt said.

Schmidt also hit out Trump’s multicountry travel ban and other immigration policies.

‘Let’s talk about immigration. Shockingly, some of the very best people in AI are in countries that we won’t let into America. 

‘Would you rather have them building AI somewhere else or would you have them building here?’ he asked. 

‘Iran produces some of the top computer scientists in the world. I want them here. I want them working for Alphabet and Google. It’s crazy not to let these people.’

 Earlier this year Schmidt has revealed he is an ‘AI denier’.

‘I’ve taken the position of ‘job elimination denier,’ he told an audience at MIT according to CNBC.  

Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt told an audience at MIT 'I've taken the position of 'job elimination denier,' claiming there's no question that there's job dislocation.'

Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt told an audience at MIT ‘I’ve taken the position of ‘job elimination denier,’ claiming there’s no question that there’s job dislocation.’

‘I’ve just decided I’m going to be contrarian, because the data supports me, and it’s more fun to be in opposition anyway,’ he said.

Still, ‘there’s no question that there’s job dislocation. But there [are] always new solutions,’ he said. 

‘The economic folks would say that you can see the job that’s lost, but you very seldom can see the job that’s created.’

Artificial Intelligence has been described as a threat that could be ‘more dangerous than nukes’.

Stark warning: Professor Stephen Hawking says we must be vigilant about artificial intelligence

One group of scientists and entrepreneurs, including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, have signed an open letter promising to ensure AI research benefits humanity.

The letter warns that without safeguards on intelligent machines, mankind could be heading for a dark future. 

The document, drafted by the Future of Life Institute, said scientists should seek to head off risks that could wipe out mankind.

The authors say there is a ‘broad consensus’ that AI research is making good progress and would have a growing impact on society.


From translator droids in Star Wars to robotic maids in The Jetsons, many sci-fi visions of the future involve robots working instead of humans.

Now there’s a calculator that can tell you whether a computer is likely to make you redundant.

It reveals that robots are most likely to take people’s accountancy and telemarketing jobs, whereas nuclear engineers, for example will probably keep their roles. 


Schmidt also hit out as US Visa limits. 

‘The stupidest policy in the entire American political system was the limit on H-1B visas,’ Schmidt said.

‘We want the best people in the world, regardless of any form of sex, race, country, what-have-you. We want them to work for us and not our competitors,’ he said.

Policy restrictions like that make it more difficult for U.S. companies to remain competitive, he claims.

‘We should organize our country to be the most attractive place for those people. Stupid government policies that restrict us from [having] a fair chance of getting those people are antithetical to our mission [and] the things we serve.’