At a panel discussion at the Aspen Security Forum on potential AI threats, Schmidt raised the specter of an AI arms race between the US and China. He compared the current situation with the 1950s and 1960s when the horror scenario of a possible nuclear attack hung over some countries like the sword of Damocles. After the US atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, China and the Soviet Union armed themselves with similar weapons.
In addition to the USA, China, and the Soviet Union, France and Great Britain were among the five so-called official nuclear powers that signed the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty, which came into force in 1970 (France and China did not sign until 1992). India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel have nuclear weapons, too. Officially, nuclear weapons are intended to serve as a deterrent.
According to the “balance of terror” theory, nuclear powers are discouraged from making a so-called first strike because they have to assume that another nuclear power will strike back—and ultimately destroy the world as we know it.
Schmidt, who thinks that artificial intelligence can be just as dangerous as nuclear bombs, calls to implement a similar treaty for the AI sector. Schmidt believes this is the only way to prevent the world from ending in a big bang triggered by an AI. According to Schmidt, who headed Google between 2001 and 2011, China and the US should negotiate a treaty on peaceful coexistence, regardless of political systems.