tv Aspen Strategy Group Discussions on Technology National Security CSPAN February 20, 2019 9:30am-12:04pm EST
artificial intelligence, obama administration, report in october and december 2016 on a strategy for this. i haven't really seen a follow-up on that. the follow-up i did see was in the summer, spring of 2017 when china issued similar strategy. walter will talk about research and development, fundamental research and development by the united states and support of research institution, research universities. we -- a few decades ago r&d and
we are now number 12. a lot has been picked up by the private sector but it's not the same thing i don't think going forward. do i think that we need to bring science back to the center of our thinking and our policy making and we just had director of policy for two years to get something in the job. one of the great regrets i have in 10 years as national security adviser, inside nse running process because every as you know, probably had technological aspects to increasingly and bandwidth issues and confident issues that we really need to address, i think in policy making and why the united states, history goes back and asks why the united states when we borrowed money at cheap rates and invest at pretty certain
return and we haven't done any of that. we just spent $2 trillion on tax cut last year. and the last is, two last things, one is that a national effort to meet what we know are going to be the labor market implications of technologies we are the developing. they are coming down the line. if you spend as much time with ceo's and at business conferences as i do this is where business is going, right, they get additional technological efficiencies and we haven't had it all instead discussions about who is responsible for the work impact of these technologies, is it companies, government, what are we going to do about it? ..
objective, high quality with things like that. >> that makes a lot of sense but that leads me to a followup for jack about strategy which you were alluding to. when people say we are in a new cold war with china, it's a bad analogy with the soviet union. we had no trade and almost no scientific or social exchange. with china, we have more trade than apparently we want, and we
also have something like 300,000 chinese students in american universities. and a lot of back and forth among the elites. as pointed out on investments and economic behavior with companies, we have upgraded, we are taking it more seriously, but a lot of technology transfer occurs in human minds. you don't have to steal this. you just work in a lab in cal tech and you take a job, back and forth with chinese and american companies. what do we do about that? in other words, if ai is as fluid as you say, should we be trying to restrict the transfer
of intellectual property by restricting who can work in american companies or have access to cal tech or m.i.t. or carnegie mellon? >> a quiz we give is how many languages are spoken. none of them ever get it right because the answer is there are far too many to cover with a reasonable answer and they want to do coding or research instead. the languages include chinese and russian. why is that? i think it's because nerds will go for the nerd thing over nationalism. like if you have the greatest opportunities to develop the most significant technology for a real aim and be part of a team that gets to change the nature of science, i think you may pick that above a particular sort of nationalistic mindset. ultimately the goal is to make sure ai technology benefits all of humanity. we think that having some aspect of all of humanity working on
that is essential to it. i also think it provides a motivating message that if you have enough of a progressive policy with regard to science, you can attract people from all over and i don't believe we suffer from it in terms of a technology transfer point of view. i do want to make a point about what tom said and greatly oversimplify it. what i think you are talking about is the problem of bullies versus nerds. in high school, you have some bullies and they beat up the nerds and the nerds went home and read books. then all of the nerds did pretty well layer in life and the bullies had a pretty terrible time. what the u.s. is doing is mostly bullying and not being nerdy enough. i accept there needs to be some robust behavior but in the absence of the u.s. going home and like hitting the books in the evening, it has no chance here. >> that was the purpose of the
list at the end. it's a fair point. on this issue of personnel, people, back and forth, we have a tremendous amount of back and forth in terms of shared knowledge between the united states and china, the development of artificial intelligence and a lot of technology. but there are legitimate counter intelligence issues. this prevents real challenges for research universities, i think. we really need to get this right because cutting ourselves off completely is a mistake, right, but there are issues, there are legitimate counter intelligence issues, really serious challenge. one statistic i saw last week was that last year, the number of foreign students studying in the united states decreased by 6.5% which is the biggest decrease since 9/11 which is not a great trend for us.
>> by contrast, we are failing to invest in the people we need in the technical fields, not on only, even absent any retraining, investing in access to s.t.e.m. education the way we should, but where we do have talent, we're not making it easy for that talent to go between the commercial sector and the government or national security sector. and so i think one of the things we need to be doing, back to tom's thing about what do we do, what's right for us, is to be thinking much more out of the box about creating pathways. maybe we need a civilian version of rotc which says we'll pay for your college or your graduate school in a technical field if you come and spend some time
with the government first. then you can go off to the commercial sector, then we are going to create a pathway for mid-career people who want to work on the mission that matters, to come do another stint at a more senior level in government. we are going to figure out, i was at a dinner last night with the general that had a cybercommand and we were talking about the challenges at cybercommand and nsa. one of the ideas is creative ways of leveraging talent that's outside the government. should we have a different kind of reserve where you don't have to wear a military uniform or pass a physical fitness test or cut your hair or remove your tattoo, and, and, and, but you can hack for your country on the weekends and if you can't get a security clearance, you use a different set of data but you still use the talent to develop the tactics and the procedures and the problem solving that you need. we are not being innovative and at our best in terms of how we
use the talent we have and how we develop more. >> there is also the point if we become too restrictive, we cut off new sources of that talent. i saw a figure recently that a third, more than a third of silicon valley startups in the last decade were started by immigrants from asia. so in that sense, to be too restrictive on that would be to basically cut off talent. so it's getting the strategy right, as i started out with the pendulum becoming too hysterical, getting that point in the middle is -- >> we won't get it right unless we have this missing piece. this missing piece is what we are going to do to meet the challenge. >> right. >> well, we are going to throw it open to the audience. we have 15 minutes left in this panel. that was the time that was
allocated for audience q & a. so over to you. who would like to ask a question? anyone? ollie? >> thanks. i'm a policy analyst at the rand corporation. we have talked about the arms race long-term competition between the united states and china. how do we measure winning? what would it mean to win in an arms race if there is one occurring? what would it mean to win in long term competition between the u.s. and china? how do we define the term? >> tom, you want to start? we will go down, each with quick answers. >> there would be different definitions in each sector. i think with respect to, michelle can get into a lot more depth than i can, with respect to our military side it would be having the ability to continue to maintain the role we have in the western pacific to provide basically the platform around
which you can have peaceful economic and social development. i think that's a first piece to it. second, you know, it's important for the united states to maintain leadership in the world. in the last 75 years, we have garnered tremendous prosperity and security and strength from our leadership in these areas and maintaining that leadership i think is a very important thing for us. we should measure ourselves against that. now, how you do that unilaterally versus doing it in cooperation are the kind of things we're talking about today. but not to take the steps to maintain that leadership would put the united states at a disadvantaged position unnecessarily, in my view. i think if you still do a net assessment of united states assets and liabilities, you would come to the conclusion the united states, if it makes the right policy decisions, can maintain its position as the leading country in the going forward but you have to take them piece by piece. it's important for us to focus on our idealogical competition in the world, too.
we have a situation where i think democracy in the united states and in the west generally is under maybe the most severe assault since the 1930s, for a variety of sectors. strengthening that aspect of our essence, right, continuing to do that through things like civic education and critical thinking is also another important part of this going forward. >> very briefly, i think to win, you need to know what the race course looks like. currently we don't have an ability to make good judgments about the health of u.s. scientific infrastructure. i'm pulling anecdotal conference data from aaai to tell you something about the competition between nations. i think that's wildly insufficient. i sort of agree with tom's point that we need better decision making capacity within government to actually measure this stuff because otherwise, you are just going to pick something arbitrary and that's probably the point when dangerous things could happen.
>> i think winning in the military sphere beyond the geopolitical point that tom made is really, is the ai sphere, it will really come down to speed, quality of situational awareness, speed of decision and speed of execution. and if a competitor becomes much better at all those things, than we are, it will break down and that's when you risk aggression or conflict. >> i have to ask you about what's the implication of that, the argument in the defense department near the end of the obama administration that we had always been able to offset our opponen opponents' military capabilities by having a technological edge. we first talked about a nuclear edge, then it was the precision and stealth in the '70s, '80s, then the idea is that we would be trying to keep ahead with a
third offset and we should be working on a third offset. does the speed of ai and this high degree of integration make the idea of a third offset obsolete? >> not at all. i think it reinforces the importance. although it's not being called a third offset strategy anymore because every administration has to rename the old strategy and put it in the new frame, what the department is actually doing and what secretary mattis in particular has tried to do in moving money particularly what will come out of the 2020 budget towards a much more robust investment in some of these key technologies, it will actually, it is key for that technological investment is still very important for the united states to be able to offset what will be quantitative advantages and home theater advantages for a country like china, if we ever had to deal with a conflict in
asia. >> quick point. i feel i should represent sort of the view from silicon valley on one aspect of this question which is there are two types of winning here. there's winning where you have like a superior exquisite military capability and that's fine except the way you will probably get to it is by having stuff that can operate in a more integrated way than your opponent's. the issue of a lot of this ai stuffer, i ne stuff, you need to test it and it is worth bearing in mind that if you have a dynamic that leads to [ inaudible ] decision making capabilities, that needs to be empirically tested because you don't have theoretical guarantees. if you win, something dangerous might happen while you win and we really don't want that to happen. i think there is another path here which is should the u.s. invest more in the actual
technology infrastructure and substrate, it could create the sorts of technologies that allow for more robustness and explainability and guarantees that you can have a competition which doesn't seem to risk most human life in the process. i should represent that view. >> you want in on that? okay. another shot. yes. >> hi. jill dougherty from the wilson center. i have a question. something mentioned at the top, the rules of -- can you come up with any viable way of creating rules of competition when you have countries not looking out for human rights or civil society, government, the way the united states does? >> i think so. i think it's incumbent on us to
do that. we have two very different systems. we are in a new phase of competition and some of it matters a lot. joe said at the beginning, whether you win some of these races i think will make a big difference. as jack just said, i think who gets in the lead in some of these technologies will make a big difference on standard setting and ethics and the risks that we face. but we have to set a rule. one of the principal management challenges for leadership in the united states and china over the next you name the number of decades, half century, into the 21st century, will be to manage the relationship and not have it on a path towards inevitable conflict. and there will be areas where we will compete, there will be areas where we will engage and try to force behavior changes on either side like we are trying to do correctly on the economic side, and there will be areas where we are going to need to work together. there are a number of obvious
issues in the world that can only be solved through international cooperation and it will be incumbent on leadership in the united states and china to find those areas of cooperation. so like in all these great power relations that become this complex and we really never faced one, i don't think, this complex as this. you have to find a mix and i think that's really maybe the principal diplomatic and strategic challenge for u.s. leadership in the coming century. >> i just -- idealogical differences don't prevent agreement on rules of the road. we had deeper idealogical differences with the soviet union in the cold war than we have with the chinese today, yet we were able to sign a number of arms control agreements, nonproliferation treaty, but even things which restricted the way we behaved in terms of
instance c. i think [ inaudible ] negotiating out of self-interest rules of the road even though there are deep idealogical differences. >> can i make one more point beyond the bilateral rules we can negotiate? even though you know your competitor won't accept certain norms it's still very valuable to build as much international consensus around ai norms or cyber norms or whathave you as possible, because if there is a violation, then you have the weight of the international community responding, imposing costs, imposing punishment for that. there's still value even when you can't reach agreement on a bilateral basis. >> i agree with that. you come to these situations, try to build situational strength. so the united states has a lot of strengths in these situations and one of the principal ones, its alliances, the style of its
leadership over the last 75 years, to try to build kind of large groupings of countries pursuing certain norms, to try to obviously be a bulwark against threats, to be a forcing mechanism for trying to change behaviors. so we won't be able to do that, though, unless we do kind of build out our strengths and in particular, if we don't get our act together economically and technologically. >> norm building is already happening more than you would expect. for example, with the chinese scientists with the hiv baby who did a post-doc at stanford, unfortunately, a sledge hammer came down on him in china. there aren't really any good
norms but i was positively surprised by that. my question to all of you on the panel is on the technical decoupling, we just did the low-hanging fruit. we just tighten up export controls a little but now what? now it gets really hard. because when i talk to folks in silicon valley, they don't actually want to shut down the ai lab in china. they are getting a lot of good value out of that. this is your point, nerds want to cooperate. if we're not allowed to do that, or you're not allowed to have grad students in the u.s. doing this kind of work from china, then the big companies that dominate this space will cooperate with the chinese through their labs in europe. where do you go from here? what's the next step in the decoupling? >> i mean, i don't think decoupling is a particularly wise idea, what we've done.
i think that china is already making significant overtures to scientists all around the world to come set up well-funded labs there. if we continue to technologically decouple, the world talent goes and does scientific breakthroughs in china and the u.s. is restricted to an increasingly small base of those students which it chooses to let in because of where they're from and when it thinks they're not a threat. i think that seems intrinsically risky. >> i think it is. i do think, you know, i made the point of decoupling just as a statement of fact. i do think we have to think through on a longer term basis what it means. the amount of money coming in from china to the united states, technical data or any sensitive investment is really dropping to almost zero. we are going to put in place export controls that will be much tighter on technology. bob gates i think gave good kind
of advice in the past, to have a small guard than high fence around the things that really matter. we are engaged as i said earlier, in a global effort to build out 5g to try to protect u.s. economic security interests around the world. i think we are at the front end of it. i think you raise a good point. i don't know that we thought through all the implications but as a fact, it's what's happened. >> i was just going to say, i think we need a very dispassionate, systematic end-to-end approach looking at where is cooperation fine and a good thing and in our interest, and advancing the good of humanity, and where do we need to be clear-eyed and say this will actually pose a national security risk to the united states and to our allies if we're not careful. i'm hopeful that this is the kind of topic the new commission that's been set up on ai will get after. it's definitely going to get
after tom's agenda of what should we be doing to better compete. but i hope we will also, it will help bring some nuance to this question of where is collaboration fine and where do we need to be really much more careful than we have been. you have people, everyone from people like eric schmidt to my colleague and former deputy secretary of defense is quite clear-eyed on these issues. working on that commission. so my hope is they can provide some, you know, some better answer to your question. >> we are waiting for the next panel. very quick question. very quick. >> i would like to ask -- thank you. yeah. greg allen from the center for new american security. you talked about the need for sort of a massive scale of change. you were talking specifically about the percentage of gdp we spend on research and development so what you are calling for is a major transformation. i think that's in line with what
china is talking about and what the major technology companies refer to the transformation required for ai. but we also heard that the need to not panic, the need to not panic specifically with regard to our relationship with china. my question is, what are credible paths to the transformation of the u.s. government and the transformation of the u.s. society that involve percentage points of gdp scale changes that are not induced by a sputnik like moment or other cause of national panic? how do you induce the amount of change you want without calling for some kind of -- >> i think the answer to the question is leadership. i do think we need -- the sputnik moment was in the context of the late 1950s and the cold war, and induced by a lot of fear falling behind idealogical competitors. we have a different kind of competitor here. i do think we do need a sputnik moment from the united states. i do think that the things i laid out with respect to what we are going to do in order to advance our technological
prowess and future are pretty urgent, frankly. jack knows infinitely more about this than i do, but at the pace at which these technologies develop now, they're extraordinary so the distance in terms of technological development in the course of single administration, for example, a four or five-year period, is extraordinary and things that might have been relevant four years ago are totally irrelevant now. so i don't think we should be -- i think we should address the chinese relationship from a strategic perspective, from a position of strength, but i do feel a very deep sense of urgency on the missing piece here which is the piece about what we're going to do to maintain technological balance. it's actually odd to me that we haven't felt this is kind of the sputnik moment and it's odd to me when talking about china, china/u.s. relationship is the most important strategic thing we are doing in the world, that we haven't had this as a more urgent priority.
>> thank you, everyone. by the way, that last questioner is a young gentleman named greg allen who is now at the center for new american security. greg was a student of the professor and i, and myself, and spoke at our conference and is one of the leading young thinkers about ai and our military future. i thank greg for being here. this is the second panel. first panel focused on the china challenge. you heard from them. this panel focuses on a different challenge. the last chapter of our book is written by our friend walter isakson who is a great biographer and student and an expert on science and technology. walter says what made america great technologically from the manhattan project all the way through to this decade was the combination, he said an innovation triangle. the federal government believing that part of its obligation was to fund science research,
long-term science research, that the federal government ought to be working with our research universities and ought to be working with the third point in the triangle, our private technology companies, to innovate and to encourage companies to develop, as happened in the '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '90s into this century. walter says that's now broken down. some arresting data points from walter's argument, just to get this conversation started, federal r & d spending has shrunk significantly over the last few decades. once the world leader, tom donilon mentioned this, the united states ranks twelfth in government funded r & d as a percentage of gross domestic project. federal spending has declined from 1.2% of gdp to 0.8% of gdp. 1.2 in 1976, 0.8 in 2016. here's another way to look at
this problem. walter says in the 1960s, around 70% of total r & d was federally funded with 30% coming from the private sector. now those figures are reversed. finally, this is a little cheeky of walter but i had to draw attention to it. he said in president trump's approximately 5,000 tweets over the last two years, barely a mention of the word science and technology. just to illustrate the problem that we're in. we have an all-star, i would say a hybrid panel here of people who have actually participated at each end of the triangle in the federal government, in the universities and in the private sector. led by our good friend, sylvia matthews burwell. long-standing president now of american university, former
director of the office of management and budget, former secretary of health and human services, former senior official at the gates foundation, former senior corporate official. sylvia has had direct experience at all points of the triangle. she will speak first. our good friend doug beck, doug is vice president of the americans in northeast asia for apple. he reports directly to tim cook but doug is hybrid because doug's a naval reserve officer and a combat veteran of iraq and afghanistan. he's someone with a deep appreciation for our university system. doug's going to speak second. our good friend chris brose, a new member, very valued member of the aspen strategy group. a lot of you know him from staff director for the senate armed services committee for chairman john mccain. chris saw this problem as the
congress thought about our national security but chris is now head of strategy in the tech world, having been in the government world. finally, definitely not least, but last, richard danzig, former secretary of the navy. so all of these people have seen the problem from ground up, from leadership positions as well. how do you answer walter's challenge? he says innovation triangle is no longer functioning, we are falling behind, we are twelfth in the world in percentage of r & d spending. what's the answer to that? >> thank you for having me. i will add my name to the list of those taught by joe nye on that long list. i just want to make three points in answering the question. one about how do we get to a better place in terms of solving this problem of the weakening of
those three entities, working together. a little point on context. then the third point i would like to make is about the universities and perhaps thinking about the history of how we thought about the role in maybe a slightly different way. the first thing i would just say in terms of how do we get to a different place, i think it is about the prioritization that the conversation just ended with, that we need to make this issue of how we think about research and technology and our national interest and national security. it needs to be a priority in a way that it hasn't. one way to do that that i think makes a difference is actually being clear about what is it we're trying to achieve and which of the entities, the private sector, universities and government, what role is each going to play and often there are shared roles but how much, how much responsibility. think about it in a clearly articulated way so that the partnership can function with the same goals and knowing what
role each is supposed to play. our national defense strategy, making this a core part of our national defense strategy, making this a core part of our national security strategy, then also when one thinks about making this happen throughout government, so when the office of science and technology policy is putting together its overarching strategy for the entire administration and federal government, this is a core element. so by articulating all the different parts and strategies that touch on this, a strategic objective that flows through all, then a little bit more clarity about what the actual roles are of the differing parts and pieces, including how much funding for this do you want from the federal government. the second thing i would say is context is important. while this certainly isn't a conversation about the shutdown and the current state that we're in in terms of budget issues, i think it's important to reflect on them. the numbers that nick mentions, that the piece mentions, are part of a broader context of
declining spending on non-defense discretionary and as a percentage of gdp. similarly for defense. so as we think about solving this problem and how you are going to solve it, if resources from the federal government are a part of it, one needs to consider that context. shrinking non-defense discretionary and that's where the research money would be, shrinking as a percentage of gdp in a context where our debt payments continue to rise. that has to do with the deficits that we have. in a context where, because we have an older generation coming through the pipeline, both social security and medicare to entitlements continue to grow. it's a very important contextual point as one considers resources. as you think about this relationship, from a university
perspective, one of the things, this strategy approach is important because it's also about signaling to the universities. it's not just about giving them the resources. it is about signaling. many universities today in the current situation where i would be the first to say that the economics of higher ed are troubling, and in terms of inflation that is higher than inflation on a consistent basis, that's a difficulty. if universities are looking for those funds in the research space, they are being pressed more and more for applied research. we need to produce students that are job-ready and produce research that's ready to make something now. so the signaling will be an important part. as we think about universities, thinking about the university role in three different ways. one, the research we produce. what is the research you want us doing as universities? what is it that society needs in terms of what is that research, how much applied, that will be more quickly applied and how
much basic research. the second thing is we are producing the people that are going to implement this policy. the students that are coming through, whether it's our school of international service or our college of arts and sciences and computer science. we are producing the students that are going to do this. understanding what that strategy is is important to how we are educating students. the third area, i don't think we have thought about it but as we talk about ai and these other things, the role that the university has in shaping the sector and informing the sector. things like ethics and ai and the work that needs to be done that can be done in a university setting. >> can i ask you a quick followup? you have been at the cabinet level now head of the university. i quoted before you came in at the very beginning of this session, eric lander, director of the institute in cambridge, massachusetts. he said because of what you just talked about, we are risking our primacy in science and
technology. i quoted general dunford who said we are risking our military superiority. what he was essentially saying is the development of these technologies is so rapid that our platform systems that dominate now might be obsolete ten years from now. in other words, we are not protecting our seed corn, if you think about it that way. tom donilon gave us a lot of thoughts, what would constitute a national strategy. do you agree with him, the president, president trump, president trump's successor, need to create a position for what the private sector, universities, government should do? >> yes. i think it is about saying what is it we are trying to achieve and what are we doing. i think the china conversation probably got a little into how the chinese think about it in terms of how they define where they are going with regard to questions of superiority and with regard to the question of the investment that they are willing to make against it. similarly, i think as a nation,
we need that kind of leadership in terms of here's what our objective is, here's where we're going and also, the leadership in perhaps thinking about things a little differently. the question i guess i would raise also about the nimbleness point you raised is how should one divide the responsibilities. should universities become more nimble or depend more on the private sector which i'm sure doug will speak about in terms of working through what percentage of what roles and what qualities do universities, the government and the private sector bring to the problem. i think we all need to step back and understand how do we help do what we do best in each of the places, and if we need to do things better. so the president, the nation as a whole, saying this is a priority and i think we all know, whatever you do in your life, you know if you make it a priority, that's generally how you get things to happen. >> thank you. doug, great to have you with us.
doug spoke in august at our conference and it's been a big part of this. >> it's a huge honor for me to be here in such august company. first, i guess just going back to the point walter made in the book, the silicon valley in which i work is -- which is without any argument the most innovative, disruptive engine of innovation around the world, and that silicon valley was completely built on the shoulders of the innovation triangle that walter is talking about. so today's silicon valley completely rests on that. in fact, physically rests on it. our new beautiful apple campus, apple park, was literally built on a site that used to be an hp
campus a long time ago that was directly part of that phase of silicon valley history. so we very clearly live right on top of that and yet the engine of innovation that's there, we are barely scratching the surface of that, i believe, for our topic of national security, when i think about it from my other lens. and so actually back in i think 2014, when i was involved in some conversations that ultimately led to the creation of the defense innovation unit out in california, then in austin and boston, one of the points i made then was that you could argue that the relationship between silicon valley and china, not the
chinese government, but chinese companies and china in general, was potentially tighter than the relationship with the defense department and that the relationships that the defense department had with other militaries around the world was arguably a lot tighter than the relationship the defense department had with silicon valley. now, the good news is a lot has happened since then. we will hear from secretary carter a little bit later all the work he put in that secretary mattis continued and secretary shanahan is continuing, has done a lot on that, so the good news is with things like this, we have an embassy. the bad news is we need more and that that's still an issue. i think there's some structural and cultural issues that are behind this. so maybe thinking about culture
quickly first. you know, i live in two worlds. i am -- i'm literally the only person that some of my friends in the valley know who served in uniform, much less in combat, and i'm also the only person as many people get out of active duty and move to the technology sector, that many of my friends in the military know who live in the world that i live in on a full-time basis. i'm constantly struck by the depth of misunderstanding that exists between those two groups and the depth of misinterpretation that's represented in the lens with which each kind of views one another's motivations and decisions. and so if you drill into that a
little bit, it even gets down to things that are so simple as how you dress. i'm wearing one of my uniforms today, one that i wear virtually never. >> i barely recognize you. >> except when i'm here in washington or at a funeral. but what's interesting is in the valley we wear jeans and some people even wear flip-flops. i don't, but others do. and that, you know, that way of dressing doesn't say sloppy or disrespectful which is what it would say to my friends from the pentagon. that way of dressing says authentic, unencumbered, focused on what matters, not what doesn't. innovative, open. by the way, wearing a suit says the exact opposite. so when these two groups come
together, before they even start, they are overcoming cultural differences that are pretty profound, and that really get in the way of the kind of collaboration that we need. now, all that said, there are some misinterpretations that since i'm speaking to this audience right now, you know, it may be worth bringing out. first of all, there may be misinterpretation that somehow people out in the valley and other technology hubs don't care about serving the public good and that couldn't be further from the truth. in fact, one of the reasons i ended up working in the valley, ended up working for apple, is because i found a group of people who woke up every day and believed that what they were doing was trying to make the world a better place. and that was what motivated people. more than any of the other things that you might think motivate those people. so i feel very at home there
with both my hats. second, i think it's a misinterpretation to think that people aren't patriotic. that couldn't be farther from the truth. when my friends are, the people i know are universally supportive of my service, when we hold events, we bring people from senior military folks out to visit their pact, people care deeply. so i think that's maybe a misinterpretation. i also think that it's also a maybe partial understanding to say that people are -- wouldn't be interested in working on these incredibly important problems that will related to national security. in fact, i think as jack said, with a lot of people, what they care about the most is working on the hardest problems.
i might -- what jack said is they care on working on the hardest problems and they may not be as tied to nationalism. on the other hand, i think if you can give somebody something that's one of the hardest problems and connect it to something that's even more greater than themselves, like the greater good of the nation, a lot of people would find that incredibly profoundly attractive. it's also i think, it would be wrong to think these very, very global companies, even the most global, are as global as some might think they are in their ethos, at least. apple is a very global company but our hardware, software servic services, the design and ip is all over the united states and apple would not exist without the united states. we feel that very profoundly.
last, maybe on that point, i think it would be a mistake to think that the valley or the tech sector in general is monolithic because it really isn't. first of all, there's silicon valley, there's boston, austin, everywhere else. second, you have a very broad range of companies with very very different business models. some of them are product companies like the one i work for where the most fundamental point is that individuals and institutions need to trust that device with their most private data. others of them are fundamentally built with business models around using that data and the infinite tailoring of experience based on that data and advertising based on that data that create very very different perspectives. that's why apple, for example, is a very different point of
view on privacy than facebook does. those are very very different. so it's not monolithic. there's a lot of -- there's a lot there that are opportunities for us to build on. >> do i have time to do a couple of thoughts on what may we do about that? >> can we come back to that? we will come back to that. i want to get chris and rich into the conversation. i will come back to your action plan. chris, you recently made a transition from the government armed services committee to the tech sector. how do you see this challenge? >> yeah. great. you guys can hear me? i would say the two months i have spent in american technology has just deepened the opinions that i formed through nine years working in the united states senate and i will explain that. when i think about kind of a healthy innovation pace for the community, the metric i look at more and more is less how much
money is going into federally funded research. i look more at how much money is the government spending to take really great research, development, science and technology and turn it into large-scale technology products, companies, operational capabilities. i think that's where we fall down. that's the thing i'm concerned about. when i think about the triangle, i don't know if it's a square or i always devise a private piece into people who build technology and investors in technology. i think that right now, we basically have all of our incentives misaligned. so the government, you know, really since the end of the cold war hasn't really had a clear idea of what it wants to do, what its strategy is, and specifically coming out of that, what actual technologies it cares about more than others. so what you get, in the investment community, is a bunch of very risk-averse capital that's going to go where the money is. and the money has more often
been an ad hoc facial recognition software or not next generation hypersonics or artificial intelligence. when we scratch our head and wonder why all the best minds in american technology are doing ad optimization rather than working for the department of defense, there are huge financial incentives that explain in pretty good clarity why that is. then i think on the back end of that, in terms of the technology that you get, you know, we shouldn't be surprised that the divide has grown up the way that it is because the u.s. government, department of defense in particular, thinks about investment in technology as making large amounts of very small bets. so if you are doing something really exciting in the r & d space, we will give you $500,000 to do a little bit more and a little bit more. but then it never goes anywhere. so you have a situation like we
have today where since the end of the cold war, there are two, count them, companies that began as startups focused on national security, that have become multi billion dollar companies. if you look at financial technology, biotechnology, consumer electronics, there are dozens in all of these different areas. why is it there are two, both of them founded by billionaires. they had to fight their way over many years into the federal marketplace, then ultimately sue their customers to get a fair hearing. so i think to me, it's like that's the bad news. the good news is that we have all of the raw materials to do this and be successful. we just need to think about re-aligning our incentives. the u.s. government needs to define with a high degree of clarity what it cares about more than other things and it needs to be willing to actually put big bets on those things. this isn't rocket science. this is what we did before. at the end or beginning of the
cold war, the united states said i want to put a nuclear weapon on the other side of the planet in a matter of minutes and we bet on people. we bet on industry partners to deliver that. we put huge amounts of money into it. we need to do that kind of thing again if we actually say we are going to do the things we say we want to do and prioritize the technologies that we say that are more important than others. we need to stop making large amounts of very little bets that never go anywhere and start concentrating our bets on the things we say we care about more than other things. which is something that the national security acquisition community has been reluctant to do before. if you start doing that, it should not come as a surprise that some of those things are going to fail, many of them will. some of them are going to succeed and when they succeed, they will succeed big. when they succeed big, that risk-averse capital will start saying hold on, there's money to be made in that massive $700 billion entity called the
national defense market, you know. we actually want to start funding more of these kinds of companies. the kids that are sitting around doing traefreally interesting w for facebook or google will say actually, i'm going to go live my dream of becoming a next generation national security contractor. i'm going to start putting together autonomous systems in my garage because that's what i want to do and lo and behold, i can make billions of dollars doing it. but again, the government needs to be the prime mover in this. it needs to know what it wants, what it views as more important than other things, and it needs to put real money into them. not necessarily in the r & d stage, you know. the r & d that is being done in the private sector and private communities dwarfs what the federal government is spending. the comparative advantage of the government is actually buying the best in the field and picking winners, being able to say doug has developed something that is going to change the way
american national security exists. we are going to put money into that. again, crazy idea but this is i'm pretty sure how it works in the world that i now inhabit. when elon musk showed up and said i want to go to mars and by the way, i need to develop reusable rockets and rocket engines that are non-launch kerosene, 200 people probably walked in and said i want to reinvent national security space. he got the investment. he became a billionaire because they bet on people. i think we as the government need to start betting on people which is what we have done when we have been successful in the past. it's what private industry does every day. they bet on jeff bezos and they bet on elon musk and lo and behold, amazing people do amazing things and they solve amazing problems. i think we just need to figure out from a u.s. government standpoint where our area of maximum impact is and start putting real money toward that rather than chasing things that i would argue are less important than areas where we are less able to influence.
>> thank you. really helpful in drawing this connection of where we need to go. when we began to think about this subject and plan our conference and think about the book, joe and i and condi rice and i turned to richard danzig who has thought deeply about these issues as a foreign policy intellectual but also has been in the government and had to plan for the future of the u.s. navy. richard, what's your sense of this big problem? >> well, doug began by saying what a great honor it was to be on this panel and i want to reinforce that once again by saying i thought very nicely how greg allen was a young student of his. we are all students of nick's. just that some of us aren't young. but i say it in praise of my co-panelists. i want to spend some of my four or five minutes of reinforcing their description of the problem, but then i want to argue you shouldn't really listen to them, that though this is a real problem, it's
distracting from a much more fundamental one and it's misleading as much as it is beneficial. the reason i want to reinforce it first is because basically it's right. it's the right description of the world. walter's paper, the basic perception that we have shifted from a government dominated scene the a commercial one, the need to adjust to that is right. nick negroponte in "the digital age" published in the 1990s nicely says when photographers wanted to invent new technologies or have new technologies, they went out and invented them themselves. they made new film, they thought of new ways of designing lenses, they came up with new systems of developing films. they made their own world. he then goes on very nicely to say nobody thinks that actors invented television. the technology outran the desire of the actor, and the actor had to adapt to that and
essentially, in my view, those of us that worked in the pentagon as i did in the last quarter of the 20th century, we were all photographers. the coming of gps, the internet, the semiconductor industry, et cetera, et cetera, these were all driven by smart people in the pentagon as targets. now the world is quite different. now we are all television actors. we have to respond to the technology. there are exceptions. the commercial world is not driving hypersonics, et cetera, but the basic point is right. the reason, though, that i say that it's distracting is these insightful comments i think truly distract us from the fundamental problem which in my opinion is not one of the relationship between industry and the government and the pentagon, for example, the national security establishment, it's one of assimilation. the problem is not one of what doug beck has nicely described
as the membrane or the permeable membrane between industry and government. it's the auto immune response from within government to these new technologies. this was touched on a bit in the last panel when joe nye said, as michelle and others were asked about the legacy systems that are so dominant. let me take as my one example, we can talk more if you like about other examples, the artificial intelligence discussion that dominated the previous panel. is the problem of artificial intelligence that the system or these systems of machine learning, deep learning, et cetera, are not available to the pentagon, or accessible? they are wildly so. we have a brouhaha about google withdrawing but lots of companies are providing lots of flow of information in these areas. the problem is that when we look at the other side, the ability to assimilate this information, i will just give you a sort of top three, on the personnel side, i don't see substantial numbers of people in the
uniformed military service capable of understanding this in a way that the private companies [ inaudible ]. the number of people who are good at artificial intelligence in a serious way within the military services in uniform in the younger ranks, which is the only place they are, is probably countable on the fingers of both hands, in each service. that is way too small. our personnel system hugely discourages them. you cannot get promoted as an enlisted person or an officer to the higher ranks, if you in fact remain in the specialty. even those people who are extraordinarily good, were pushed out of the services because the private sector says we will give you real responsibilities. it's much easier for the armed services to respond to this by saying well, we don't get enough from industry, there's this external problem we need to establish relationships out there, and not to come to grips with this. second, everybody says about artificial intelligence, jack clark said it in the previous
panel, it is crucial. the arms services generates huge amounts of data. what do they do with it essentially is throw it away. they do not invest in storage capacity, they don't label it, they don't retain it, they don't think about artificial intelligence this way. this is not a problem of the external relationship. it's a problem of what you're doing with the internal resources. ... it is still a challenge. but much harder to rethink what you are doing and why whether it is the previous panel's discussion about carriers in which you are locatable in decades to come. my message is this isn't attractive proposition because it is true or irrelevant, but
from the standpoint of the core military bureaucracy it is a way of externalizing and avoids the core issues that we are talking about and i would encourage not just what is very useful but a panel but talked about this. >> richard asked to speak last and now we know why. he has been able to take the subjects of this program and project us forward and ask the tough questions about innovation and inside government. you have identified a key question. we will take questions. do you give us the action? we will go to the audience. >> i want to go to the permeable membrane a friend and
mentor, richard danzig, just mentioned, i agree about what the core issue is, i think the permeable membrane of ideas and talent is not only the short-term solution but is a major part of the long-term solution. we simply have 2 do this for the best ideas and concepts to flow into the national security world. today if you are a large company, the roi of all the work you have to do, the risk to take on and the paperwork you have got to to effectively serve the federal government
dwarfs -- the roi is difficult compared to anything with the same technology and if you are a small company it is difficult to take on and organizations like the defense of nation units were created to make that easier and are doing a great job but we still have this issue of what i call the catchers mitt. 100 conscience -- bringing it to scale and that is where they had all the antibodies we talked about and where we lose a lot of them. >> this was brought by secretary asked carter to be outputs. in austin, texas.
>> the question is how do we become a permeable membrane or talent, and a couple concrete things to do, we need to make the recommendation unit more desirable. just like we had a hard time making joint something desirable and forced it. we need to make this more desirable. today we get a lot of the best talent. it is hard because they are taking a risk with their careers because they leave the real work of what they do to do this weird thing their community understands for a wireless it is not clear what
will happen. the implications for the way we think about motion board precepts and other requirements. we have to make it more powerful. second, a much better job of leveraging people we already have in both these environments. that is the birthright we have in this country, a strong reserve force and the same way we have such strength in the country, a huge strength of the united states, going up leveraging it well enough. we need to a better job finding the ones we have, leveraging them effectively and making more of them by attaching more of the ones who go to the technology sector into the reserves and some form of the reserves. making more of them with more people from active duty, the kinds of programs like the
program that exists to send people into the private sector for an experience and bring them back but that is potentially very risky for an officer so we need to think about how to do that. we need to think about flowing in the other direction. how do we scale that and leverage it more effectively and make sure the right companies know about it? not just the same usual suspects. that is something a lot of people in places like silicon valley would love, if we figured out a way to work with industry to make it more effective. this is a set of things but we need to do more to make that ferocity to make a permeable membrane and ultimately deal with what you are talking about.
>> thanks to the incredible panelists. questions for the audience? everything is crystal clear, right? any questions? >> you will take questions. >> yes, we take questions. okay. i will ask more questions. as we move forward, give us a sense how is the trump administration doing in trying to achieve clarity of national purpose? reach out from the united states government to the academic community, research university and the private sector in both recognizing the problem and trying to tighten this innovation triangle to move forward? as the last panel said we are
in a major competition and we may not be leading the competition. who would like to assess the trump administration or give some advice for what that administration and future administrations should do? chris? >> here is what i would say. i would say building on my comments about teachers and students, the lesson is you answer the question you want to answer out of the questions you're given -- >> that is my question. >> i will ask it like it was answered. i would say one thing the administration has done well, i think the strategy is gone a long way to sharpening and clarifying what our priorities should be. >> the 2017 strategy. >> being willing to say these are things, priorities and threats we need to identify. in particular building off of a lot of work secretary carter
did. this needs to be the national priority and beginning to build down from that, what operational problems do we need to solve at the high level of principle? that his work where a lot more has to be done and only doing that work do you begin to understand could you solve this problem the same way? how would you employ these technologies to create comparative advantages? that is worth that, has yet to be done, still needs to be done and once you define what are those problems you have solved and we need to have bets on the following technology for the capability here. >> to recall this audience, secretary mattis said the
strategy, since 9/11 the united states government said three administrations, bush 43, obama and donald trump, combating terror is the number one national priority. secretary mattis said that is not the important primary but competition from russia is the focal point of the efforts. they were underway for a while but declared it. >> i want to -- >> there's much to criticize the trump administration over. lack of emphasis on science, lack of clarity on that particular technology but the general proposition not to be we ask ourselves first was can we do in the context of what exists and not externalize the
problem, china or industry before we do that. the example i gave about a i, and the strategy declarations, it is up to the internal organs of the military itself. the collection of their data and labeling of the new system is not something the national -- it is relevant what is happening out there but no amount of data on self driving cars will ultimately inform the military equation. i disagree with the speakers in the last panel when they talk about how china's commercial accumulation of data will affect the military world. military data is different from civilian data. we try to get through the
tendency to talk about the bigger policy issues which are important but come to grips with what we can do ourselves. >> i want to bring you back in because you had diverse experiences. if you were in government today advising the president, think about where we should be. >> i would take richard's point and i think richard's point is an important one, increasing the nimbleness, your ability, what richard is talking about, the ability to embrace, use and technology driven in whatever sector you are in is extremely important. if i were in government today, what i would do is think about the tools, we use additional services bringing in people from industry and sector to change that and part of the
change in turn all the at that point. it is important -- what can i change at the national level and the defense department, what can i change at the state department and hhs in pieces that connect. at the same time i think the way you do that change and get the change is the strategic prioritization. this is important, it will be rewarded, a priority for what we are trying to achieve. it is a combination of the two things together that would be important. chris's analysis which i very much appreciate is who is making the contribution? in the world you describe, the focus on apply things that go
and scaling, there are two ways things scale in the world. my experience in philanthropy and government. what is markets and the other is government. tonight i agree with you that government should be the scale play but we are left with the question of where does the basic research get done if you take government out of the equation? >> we have people with hands up and we are running out of time. i ask you to hold your questions for ashton carter and i think sylvia, doug, chris and richard for the panel, thank you very much. [applause]
[inaudible conversations] >> so we are going to begin our last panel. my friend and colleague secretary ashton carter was secretary of defense for president obama. ash, like memories of the last panel is a hybrid person, a phd in physics and long career at harvard kennedy school and an academic, long career in government. we served together at the bill clinton administration working on russia and ukraine in the
1990s. he first worked -- we need a working mic. first worked, long career in government, now 20 feet from each other, at one corner of kennedy school. he came to the concept and gave the first foundational lecture. curtis may was an imminent professor at harvard, a historian of american diplomacy and international politics, came to our meetings when i first joined the aspen strategy but the comprehensive framework lecturer. how should we think about this problem. the first chapter of the book you are going to buy.
i wanted you to explain, the points you are trying to make, how have we negotiated this transition in 70 years as a science and technology -- >> i saw a number of friends, i commend you, for making technology this summer not only because i'm a physicist and that is what i'm doing now at mit but because it is the subject of the day. when i walked out of the pentagon after 37 years from the day i walked in.
two years and five days ago. i said to myself i care very much about defending our country, making a better world for our children. what is the next crusade for me personally? to me it is dealing with the dilemmas that technological change continues to throw up for human life. you see that in the digital world in spades in a number of ways which i am sure -- i just heard doug back talking about and others as well. if you think that is a mixed bag and it is, one of the things i wanted to say that aspen was how we can do better in dealing with digital dilemmas of social media, artificial intelligence and so
forth. if you think that is a mixed bag think about the bio revolution to come. and then there is the issue of jobs and training and the fact that if too many of our citizens feel that technology is something which is zipping by them with heedless disregard for their own welfare we are not going to have a cohesive society. in those three areas, digital, bio, jobs and training, i tried to go back in time a little bit the way curtis may would have. we can learn a little from history. let me tell you a little piece of that first of all, which touches me personally. i am a physicist, and the people who brought me up in physics were the manhattan project generation.
they were my mentors and tutors and they had done something. they had invented what we would call today district 2 technology, the bomb and they were proud of that because it ended world war ii and kept the peace for 50 dark and dangerous years of the cold war but they also realized that with it came a existential danger to humanity. they gave themselves, and this is edward teller, hans bader, these were the people. in various ways and various politics and so forth they devoted themselves to arms control, nonproliferation, missile defense, civil defense, to using their inventive minds
to soften the impact and they were telling people like me that with knowledge comes responsibility. i gave a little try to defense early on as a part-time thing, in very much the way doug beck was talking about and that is something i tried to replicate as secretary of defense, let people give it a try because i found in my own life, the combination of having a little bit of expertise so that what you do actually mattered, to something the other part of consequence was a magical combination. that is true today. i see it every day. if they feel that spark and
ultimately that weight i think we can do a lot better. that was a generation i came into, a generation that came after mine which very much informed the digital revolution which was different, which was more libertarian. i respect that. it was a different generation and a different time and the belief was good things would come through openness, freedom, liberty and that was the spirit in which the internet grew up and that was a good thing and i participated in that the same as everyone else but we underestimated the dark side and now it is a great thing that enables commerce and community but also hate and darkness and aggression and so forth. >> russian intervention. >> russia, china. >> north korea, iran. >> those are the big four not to mention all the terrorists.
that is a little strategy for you on the one hand. i think there is a lot about those things. one example that comes from watching the hearings, the mark zuckerberg hearings on the hill or subsequent tech leaders. my impression of those is they were a huge missed opportunity. it was a historic moment where, had both sides been better prepared and better inclined, we could have made an advance on this nagging problem on our civilization. the leaders, industry leaders
for their part, the way i put it, got through the news cycle but are not going to get through the arc of history with that story. the members, i only wish they had been as poorly prepared to question me about war and peace than you in your day as they had been but imagine where everybody had gone in. the subtext of the whole thing is a mixture of self-regulation by companies, informed regulation by governments, antitrust or some kind was needed. everybody was seeing that but there was no architecture. what are the options? it could be debated but there wasn't anything else on the table? the example i want to give you of a time when it was better and it was something i saw long ago that i think could be something like it could be
rebuilt on the congressional side. my first thing ever was the same people i talked to said the thing you've got to go to washington for one year and to do is this, sounds like ancient history to you but it was what to do with the mx missile, attend more said i -- a 10 warhead icbm at the right of the cold war, soviets were building, we felt we needed to match. we built business when the question is what do you do with a big missile that will allow it to survive the onslaught of the soviet first strike. that being a necessary consideration. nick is the participation -- you know the more, you don't want vulnerable weapons because they are a danger to both sides because the owner of them has to use them and the beholder of
that knows they better go first and so forth. it is not a good thing. so what to do is an important problem. i went and worked on that for a year but never mind that. the process was interesting. an organization called the office of technology, never mind the place or the thing that had a mechanism which was this. it had a bipartisan, bicameral board that decided what it would work on. second it appointed over us a few physicists, a bunch of senior retired people, senior officials, senior military officers, retired congressmen, senators, that would be paved over to do what we were going to do at the time. our first option.
we went out and looked at all the options. i mean all the options. moving around like planes, trucks, trains. i even, one of the options i looked at was a 14 million foot airship. it would have been the largest airship since -- he would fire a missile. imagine that, a crowdpleaser. >> it was never built. >> we looked at all the options at a respectful hearing, even the things that were fringey like that. the last thing is we talked to every stakeholder in industry, in the states, every member, every industry group, every lobbyist, every member so that everybody could say they were heard. those were 24 intermediate
sticking points. i would like to see something else and climb on top of these things like biology or digital or training. those -- we have to get to solutions or there will be trouble. >> about an hour ago, bring back that office. >> or something like it. >> as part of his action plan. what we have been talking about today in your lecture that you gave last august, the relationship is troubled between the federal government and the congress and the tech community. one of their innovations was i am going to send people out and establish dod offices in silicon valley in boston, cambridge, massachusetts, and austin, texas. and if it is successful, what
would you advise acting secretary shanahan to do? was it ambitious enough? >> it has worked out well and i will tell you why i think that but it is not sufficient. it was one piece of the broader mosaic. i didn't know at the time. that's why i called it di you go experiment. and my successor, jim mattis, to his credit or to the credit of an idea and people like doug becker who are working on it and earns taking the x away but it didn't look that way at first. we stumbled on it in a few ways at first and a few things that didn't work and we had to start over again and we were trying to meet the valley, boston or austin and a few others
halfway. these are people like me who started out, i didn't want to be in government and doing what i was doing which was physics. i was happy to give it a try. turns out it is stuck -- that is okay. that means meeting people both ways. this was the time we headed snowden -- had added snowden as an overhang. you had to agree to disagree about certain things in order to reach a point that you could say to someone come in and give it a try. overwhelmingly, i had people at the pentagon who had their
hoodies on and aviator glasses and earrings and it was difficult or have a uniform on and so we had to be flexible in the interests of building this bridge. it takes a little flexibility on both sides. the digital service and so forth, we spend $80 billion a year which is more than all the big tech companies combined. at the same time we needed -- it was mentioned by chris in the last panel. making the transition, the great transition we were still embarked on from the era of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency which we so focused on. i'm as guilty as anyone. it was 2010 and you bet your
life it was a preoccupation. you have people fighting, you are all in for them and i was spending as much time buying them wraps and dogs, sniffing dogs as i was 35s and stuff like that. now you get back to the name game which is china and russia and we spent too long backing off of that agenda. i'm so glad to see us back in there. i was doing that myself and i am glad to see it continue under jim mattis and the acting secretary. >> we will open up for questions but before we do, one of the predominant questions, two big questions. general dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs, eric lander, someone else you know well,
have both said from a military and scientific point of view we risk losing our place as the leading technology country because of the breakdown of the innovation triangle. jennifer -- general dunford, the speed with which ai, machine learning, quantum communication, are proceeding means our current platforms could be obsolete in the generation ahead and we could lose the race for military superiority. that is everything to us for those of us who think about american foreign and defense policy. do you agree? >> we are great, we are inventive, we have a great installed base, this is a competitive world. nobody has a birthright. these guys, our enemies are
hungry and focused on us. we say we have russia, china, north korea, iran and we do. but they all have just us, they are looking just at us. it is not a birthright. that preoccupation was a distraction in some ways and how you measure it, we've got to get that back. i'm not pessimistic about this, you can't take it for granted. they are out for us. >> when you sat with president obama and the national security team --
>> president obama was somebody who was not a technologist himself, both generally should only and technologically interested. to the dismay of his department closely, some technology things and also making that transition, people who believe the whole world changes with every change of administration even in the current circumstances, as it can be. it has been going on. we put our heads, what we have
in the soviet union, you know that because you as ambassador and so forth, to nato and that part of the world, we had a long-standing competitive relationship with another major power which was technologically, the soviet union was no joke and a serious competitor. we did not have an economic relationship so we've never had a sustained economic relationship with a communist dictatorship. there is no nice way to say that. in the case of the soviet union, and imperial -- an impermeable barrier between us and them.
it is a different kind of relationship. we are inextricably intertwined, that makes it harder to create an enclave. on top of that there is so much technology which is outside of government. in those days anything could happen. it happened under government books. you put those together and the government is ripped over technology, doesn't run as widely as it once did. that and the fact that china has access in real time and put the next are burden on us, incorporating it into that. >> this year we focus on one
big issue. democrats, republicans, we are in aspen, what they have been talking about. almost everybody feels the most important challenge we face, we are the two dominant societies and competing in the battle of ideas in the democratic system. we are completing a battle of technology. the race for the next generation of military technology. we are going to have for the first time sponsoring and running the aspen security form, the aspen program in the middle of july for four days. we have a national debate, many issues in the us, china, technology battles, ideological battles, she jinping fighting with us. i can think of anything more
important, what americans should be doing, talking about these issues. questions for ash carter, please identify yourself and the mic will come to you within 0.3 seconds and you can ask your question. >> thank you for your question. i'm a chemical student, 2003 and other professors as well. my question is you cannot outspend russia and china. what can we do on capability, it is also the most affordable. >> the key is science and technology first of all. even as clumsy as we can be, i
am embarrassed to say that, it is a pretty good imbibe or of technology. our tech sector is extremely vibrant. i'm not pessimistic at all about the ability to over match this question. what you say, the united states and china would be the big dog but not the only dogs and if you look at asia rather than china, china is half the asian population and economics, we don't have a china policy, we have an asia policy. we always have. we had one for 80 years. it was the pivotal american military role in the region which kept the peace. that was appreciated by that effort.
in addition to being technologically excellent and spending a lot of money on defense and i was grateful for it. in addition to having spent that money which means our installed bases and in addition to being the most experienced military in the world because we've been at war for 15 years, in addition to that we have all the friends and allies and they have none. as i said, i am not pessimistic. >> - and i spent a lot of time working on the relationship with india. the george w. bush administration and the obama administration, india, big science and technology country, big talent, commitment to the air force and navy and our security partner.
ash helped to build the relationship, japan, south korea, can't just be china and the united states but our alliance which has the balance of power. question? >> i thought you might get a kick out of knowing while you were working on the missile problem a lot of us -- working in addition to profits. we met some of your folks, these things called submarines, that we were going to be okay. one of the things, and since 2016. whether or not he successfully invaded the election in 2016.
as you are one of the most established diplomats and one of the best defense secretaries i wonder what you think of that proposition and what we should do about it. >> the evidence is overwhelming that they did. it is also obvious. i will say this. not enough has been done. enough was done by the obama administration. we haven't done enough. in a more serious way, i discuss this, pretty far afield but i will say one thing which is an attack is an attack and deserves a response even though this is the sort of in betweeny
sort of russian hybrid warfare, the green men kind of version. it is oppression. they certainly tried to influence our politics not just in the electoral sense which is stirring up gratuitous division and they are doing it to this day. that is what i would say. >> i would agree and just say this. the russian federation cannot match the united states and our canadian european allies in western europe. they are contained. what has he done? they developed this strategy, his intelligence operation, the use of cyber to infiltrate social media, attacked the electoral system with the databases of our state and he continues to do it. there is ample evidence that he
tried to insinuate himself in dutch, french and german elections and a lot of brits think they might have affected the brexit vote. it is continuing and i would say donald trump has been blind to it, has not led on this issue. congress has had to lead. senator burr and senator warner, we need presidential leadership to raise the defenses and respond because that is the language vladimir putin understands. yes, sir? >> the financial times. >> welcome. >> you have been talking about russia. half of america's interests, you don't want to pursue diplomacy in which russia and china, sort of reverse next in,
reverse kissinger and that is what has happening. given what you were just talking about, justifiable concern about russian interference in america and other democracies, understandable and second from any success with donald trump. china and russia are destined to be closer which is ominous for the united states and the west. how would you prevent that happening or at least loosen that relationship if you were in charge? >> i will take a stab. they have a common interest in being antagonistic towards the united states. after that they don't have much in the way of common interests. we spent 50 or 60 years worried
about a chinese soviet -- never happened but i would say they share an interest in antagonizing the united states. their efforts are complementary. we have to divide our assets or tensions between the two of them but they have so much else that it is not going in the same direction. i won't even go through the checklist but china has gone that way, russia has gone that way. they share an uneasy order and so forth. they share us as antagonists but it goes much further than that. you know more about this than i do. >> it is a central question right now. no question vi jinping are tactical allies. the chinese want to limit the
power of japan in the indo pacific, russians want to limit power of nato, the eu and north americans and so they try roadblocks in front of the security council and they are interested in different kind of warfare to we can democratic societies so it is a considerable tactical problem but strategically, when you think about russia, something like 6 millions russians, 300 chinese just below them. china will dominate the far east. you have written books about india. they will dominate commerce and strategy of the far east - said something important. we have always seen ourselves since roosevelt and truman's time as a guarantor of the stability of east asia. the american military and american foreign service together in japan and the
korean peninsula, in australia, in southeast asia, if we hold the position, the chinese will have to deal with it and the russians will be a declining power by 2050, given their unreformed money. i think while this is a technical problem now for us, strategic problem for our kids and their succeeding ashton carter, how do you compete with the chinese? that will be competitive technologically, militarily. how do you partner with china? we need to work with the chinese on climate change. a huge failure of the trump administration not to recognize we are the two largest carbon emitters. it is very wise to lead off the panel by saying we need to be a balance, both political parties have turned towards unbridled competition with china.
yes, we have to compete. that's what the whole day has been about but we have to work, the chinese will see us in a different way, as a potential competitor, i don't think the russians figure into that. >> to further unrelieved the gloom. i work with the chinese for a long time, many friends in the pla and so forth and we cannot have a purely into stick relationship -- antagonistic relationship. it is not the way we hoped, the chinese evolution has not gone away. we thought there would be more -- values. it hasn't happened. the issues we had in the future
have not eventuated. we have to pick ourselves up and go on. we do share the world's economy. and cold war is a pretty dark future. my job was to prepare for those and there is nothing inevitable about that. the recounting of its, it sounds sensible and we may get more value out of that. a little hard to see that with vladimir putin. his objective is purely to frustrate us. imagine trying to build a bridge to that motivation a little hard.
>> we have time -- i'm looking to jonathan -- 5 minutes. >> a reporter with inside defense. as the man who wrote the last pentagon artificial intelligence policy, there's a lot of debate around what the next set of policies would be. what has changed since you wrote the last policy and what consideration do you take into account as we set new barriers? >> this is one thing i wrote as deputy secretary in 2013. no one was paying attention to ai. what it says that is still basically right and you can elaborate on it. it is a lesson for ai in general and its deployment in society.
what i said was, as always, we take our values to the battlefield as a nation. i make no apologies about that. in the matter of ai, there would not be an autonomous use of lethal force, literally autonomous. there will always be a human being involved in the decision to use lethal force on behalf of the united states. that is not the same as men in the loop. not like somebody inside the computer trying to keep up with the computer. it is an ethical and accountable decision and the reason i said that was i imagined myself or the secretary i was working for, something had happened. like an airstrike which had gone wrong.
targets were injured and i imagined myself going before the press and saying the machine did it. i would be crucified and i should be. you were not going to take that. the same is true for self driving car that runs over somebody. the judge is going to want to know if somebody is responsible for this. that doesn't mean somebody has to be blamed but there is something called having a mistake and judges accept that. we all accept that. in order for these to be deployed in a way that makes consequential decisions that affect people, there has to be enough transparency and accountability in these systems the that can be built in. that would be a divine criteria for us in the department.
it has to be a design criteria because it is not automatic. you can build in some of the extent ai algorithms that are difficult to retrace the path of the decision so it is something engineers have to build in but that is something i do. my life is running engineering and technology programs and that is something that will be done. we can elaborate but it is basically the right thing and whatever happened years later, 6 years later, sounds right to me. >> i want to give you the last word. we have to close the session. we haven't talked a lot about this. where is the leadership going to come from? these are big challenges. how do you compete with china, not be dominated but work with them? how do we maintain military
superiority? i interviewed our friend secretary secretary condoleezza rice, she is our co-chair. i remember saying something like it is a public session. what are you worried about? she said we lost ourselves. i interviewed frederico morgan rini who is the eu foreign minister at the kennedy school where we work and i said you have a lot on your plate, russia, china, what are you worried about? europeans have lost our self-confidence. i took these two statements from senior women, world leaders, to be the we don't have someone in western leadership with the exception of angela merkel, saying the democratic way as opposed to
the authoritarian way, the chinese and russians, our democratic way is the way forward. you just intimated you have confidence that the united states, the tech community or universities can meet the test of this technological revolution. is self-confidence part of the problem? >> it is. i am not pessimistic at all. i think we do have the best system in the world. i want children to live up in a world, most of the world wants to live that way no matter what -- a winning moral and, the craziness of leaders like the ones you named and riproaring
technological change. and from what i conferred you talked about earlier. you talked about cooperation, the world of thought. and the biotech revolution, and social media. these are puzzling to people. and there's no partisan rancor. and they line up anywhere. that is the one hopeful thing, the technological picture to me.
and something available in front and center and people come together behind it and that is true for leadership in the world, there is latent demand for it. maybe i am pollyanna should but i'm not pessimistic. people in this room. >> we are in danger of depressing this group earlier with a big threat. and faith in our society. page you very much. thank you very much. [applause]
[inaudible conversations] >> this week at 8:00 pm eastern on c-span we will look at the political careers of four congressional leaders. .. watch this week beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> we have more from the road to the white house this friday with massachusetts democrat senator elizabeth warren. speaking at a new hampshire democratic dinner in manchester. friday 7:30 eastern on c-span. and this weekend is the national
governor's associate winter meeting in washington, d.c. we'll be live on saturday with a discussion on criminal justice reform. we'll also hear from jp morgan chase chair, and a forum on state child welfare meeting. live coverage begins saturday 9:10 eastern on c-span. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service, by america's cable television company. and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> there are nearly 100 new members of the u.s. house this
year including congresswoman iona presley. she deneeded michael cappial ono in the democratic primary for the boston based 7th district. she previously served as an at-large member of the boston city council. she worked for both former representative joseph kennedy, and former senator john carry earlier in her career. representative lori truhappen is also a former congressional staffer. she served as former representative marty mihan's chief of staff in the 2000's. formally she wases a ceo of a consulting firm. representative has been involved in state politics dlugd serving three terms of the new hampshire counsel that advisedded the governor and two terms in the state house. congresswoman pappa is also
owner of a restaurant. he said the first openly gay person elected to congress by new hampshire voters. and representative johanna hays first came to national attention when president obama named her 2016 national teach of the year at a white house ceremony. she's only the second african american to represent connecticut in congress. the first was congresswoman gary franks, a republican who also represented the 5th district in the 1990's, new congress, new leaders, watch it all, on c-span. >> more road to the white house coverage with ohio democratic senator shared brown. he recently participated in a round-table on jobs and the economy with voters in new hampshire. this is about an hour.