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US needs Japan and Korea to counter China tech: ex-Google CEO

Eric Schmidt urges cooperation in AI, chips, quantum computing and synthetic biology

Eric Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Futures, who has served as CEO for Google, executive chairman and technical adviser for parent Alphabet, says the U.S. needs to take action to keep its lead over China in artificial intelligence.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- China's capabilities in artificial intelligence are "much closer than I thought" to catching up to the U.S., former Google CEO Eric Schmidt told Nikkei Asia, stressing that America will not succeed without a "very strong partnership with our Asian friends."

In an online interview, Schmidt, now chair of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, said China is closing in on the U.S. in certain areas of AI and quantum computing -- faster than his previous estimate of "a couple of years."

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