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U.S. intelligence officials warned that America’s status as a global superpower depends on maintaining a lead in five key technologies. America’s rivals are trying to steal every one of them, the officials added citing legal and illegal activities, particularly those conducted by China, that have crippled competitiveness in sectors such as steel and solar panels.
The report by the National Counterintelligence and Security Center NCSC, under the Director of National Intelligence, said the five technologies identified were:
- Artificial intelligence – China “possesses the might, talent and ambition to potentially surpass the U.S. as the world’s leader in AI in the next decade if current trends do not change.”
- Quantum computing – “A large scale quantum computer could potentially allow for the decryption of most commonly used cybersecurity protocols, putting at risk the infrastructure protecting today’s economic and national security communications.” The report noted that foreign competitors are recruiting American experts to advance their own quantum programs.
- Bioscience – Officials were particularly critical of China’s WuXi Biologics, which purchased Bayer’s manufacturing plant in Germany, Pfizer’s manufacturing plant in China and more.
- Semiconductors – Due to the fragile nature of the semiconductor supply chain, the U.S. is heavily dependent on a single company in Taiwan. Adversaries can get access to the supply chain and put compromised chips in U.S. commercial and defense systems.
- Autonomous systems – these systems might expand the type of target hackers will be able to go after in the future and gather an enormous amount of data on drivers in the United States, according to the report cited by cnbc.com.