From the moment the word “robot” was first uttered in a Czechoslovakian play nearly 100 years ago, man has feared his creation will someday kill the creator. It’s a narrative that has stuck with us, said Patrick Tucker, Defense One’s Technology Editor, at a recent event in Washington called Genius Machines: The Next Decade of Artificial Intelligence: “The idea of artificial intelligence eventually killing us is actually borne into our first fever dreams about what it would be.” The 1920 play was R.U.R., subtitled in English as Rossum’s Universal Robots.
Now 98 years later, robotics researchers across the globe are seeking inroads into AI, machine-learning, and human-machine teaming. And it’s all happening under the changing shadows of great-power dynamics.
Dive into what we know so far about the AI race among the world’s most advanced nations and militaries — with a particular eye on U.S. and Chinese efforts — in a new Defense One special report.