I have been following for some time the many initiatives that Eric Schmidt, the former Google CEO and chairman of Alphabet, undertakes. Some even meritorious, however. But this makes me turn up my nose: Schmidt is supporting a startup called Istri who uses "digital twins" to virtually assemble and test war machines.
A sort of generative artificial intelligence platform that doesn't pull out texts or images on request, like ChatGPT or MidjourneyAI would do, but weapons.
Weapons of all kinds, developed at speeds never seen before.
Schmidt has actually been working to modernize the US Department of Defense since the Obama administration appointed him to head a new "defense innovation council" in 2016.
And it's not hard to believe that he considered the development dynamics of American weapons outdated (after a tour of US laboratories and bases, he assessed them as still stuck in the 70s and 80s).
They certainly were, because they were calibrated to a certain "inertia". It cannot be said that the United States does not make wars, it is the other way around. But the optics, at least in appearance, were no longer that of unbridled competition on war machines.
Schmidt believes the US military must adapt to the age of computerization, software and networking in order to remain competitive. AND Istri is one way to do it: considered the general crisis of Big Tech, a new Silicon Valley could find it advantageous to arise from a war perspective, and it is not an auspicious sign.
Especially in times of artificial intelligence: the combination of large generative capacities and system autonomy (able to move, even fight and kill alone) can be lethal beyond belief.
The former Google CEO, however, does not seem to get lost in too many reflections. The opportunity, he says, is to re-establish Western dominance. And is that, I guess, worth any risk?