I held a ‘lunar landing 101 class’ during the early evening of July 20, 1969 with a small group of Vietnamese rice farmers. The ‘classroom’ was deep in the Central Highlands of then, South Vietnam before my squad headed out in the near darkness for the nightly ‘ambush’. I informed my assembled ‘audience’ in tortured Amercanized Vietnamese speak, complete with our usual repertoire of ‘Americanized’ charades, i.e., hand gestures, facial expressions, and body movements, to try to inform them that tonight, pointing toward the moon, two GI’s were walking on the moon, naming each NASA astronaut (Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins), the first humans to reach the moon’s surface.
I, and my company of paratroopers (C/503/173d Airborne Brigade) were patrolling Bin Dinh Province (central highlands) of Vietnam, far removed from anything even remotely resembling modernity.
After multiple attempts, I sensed ‘my class’ may be acknowledging the gist of my lecture, i.e., what I was endeavoring to communicate. I sensed this because my words were met, in typical fashion, with giggling, making their ‘beetle-nut’ decayed teeth very visible as it had hundreds of times before.
As usual, such giggles could represent mocking or understanding, I chose the latter in this instance. I sensed, as I kept pointing to the moon while engaged in my charade filled communication attempt, there was perhaps, some minimal understanding – comprehension taking place. Again, that was late July 1969. I am confident, those five Vietnamese rice farmers who were ‘in my class, that evening, have, no doubt, passed away, carrying with them little, or no recollection of the evening of July 20, 1969 when a confident 18-year old paratrooper from Terre Haute, Indiana told them ‘GI’s were on the moon’, regardless of whether I would return home from combat to someday enjoy some of the technological benefits of that truly historical event.
China’s plan for a new generation of artificial intelligence…
Paradoxically, on Thursday, July 20, 2017, China’s State Council released their ‘New Generation of Artificial Intelligence Development Plan’. Artificial or machine intelligence to growing percentages of Americans and Chinese citizens are becoming variously familiar.
I recall a Fall 2005 business trip to Shanghai, China when, what my wife and I presumed would, in China by then, be a wholly computerized and ‘keystroke speed’ process, i.e., the conversion USD to RMB at a Chinese bank took 40+ minutes. And, ultimately required the aid of a concierge, multiple bank personnel, and 40+ minutes for such a presumably routine transaction to be executed. The currency conversion was entirely, with perhaps one or two procedural exceptions, insofar as what I could observe with my face-eyes pasted to the teller’s window, a ‘hands-on, paper intensive-dependent’ process.
So, the plan China announced in July 2017, describes governments’ aspirations for sustained investments in technology and how those investments intend to cultivate positive outcomes in an ecosystem of government, economics, and academe. Another claim of China’s plan is that it will drive breakthroughs in machine (artificial) intelligence, a subject addressed in this blog previously, but, in intangible asset contexts.
China is no U.S. and the U.S. is no China…To be sure, China is no United States, and the United States is no China. That said, being somewhat familiar with China’s approach to strategic planning and executing on its various strategic economic policies, I suspect there will be numerous competitive and lucrative benefits that will manifest as greater stability and sustainability. Should the U.S. (government) articulate, advocate, and remain focused ‘beyond 140 characters’ on the intangible asset outcomes of an aggressive and competitive machine (artificial) intelligence industry commitment, that would be good as well.
…the person who elects not to read has little or no advantage over the person who cannot read! (Variously attributed to Samuel Clemens, adapted by Michael D. Moberly.)
October 2, 2017 St. Louis email@example.com ‘A business intangible asset blog where attention span really matters’!