CHAPTER 1The Dawn of Irrelevance

FOR THE OUTSIDERS IT was an uneventful cloudy October Sunday in Washington, DC. Over the weekend, the Washington football team had lost to the New Orleans Saints. Baltimore, another local team from the DMV area, was supposed to play on Monday. No earth-shattering news was making the headlines. Ten months after what some media outlets termed the “insurrection,” American media was still obsessed with the domestic ideological wars. Sound bites from politicians were making rounds. Fights over to mask or not to mask were erupting all over the country. Despite a new wave of Covid claiming thousands of lives daily, traffic in restaurants and shopping areas was increasing. Amazon had started its Black Friday sales early. America had adjusted to a new normal. But unknown to most Americans, a fateful event had transpired that weekend. In contrast with the obliviousness of the American media, foreign media had a field day with the news about that story. As the history of this event will be written half a century from now, it would go down as probably the most solemn and depressing weekend for America. That was when Nicolas Chaillan, former chief software officer for the US Air Force and who oversaw the Pentagon's cybersecurity efforts, announced, in no uncertain words, the surrender of the United States in the artificial intelligence (AI) war against China. He gave an interview to the Financial Times—his first after his sudden resignation in September ...

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