‘Lunar Landing 101’ Vietnam, 1969 – China’s New Generation of AI

I held a ‘lunar landing 101 class’ during the early evening of July 20, 1969 with a small group of Vietnamese…(central highland) rice farmers.

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.

My impromptu ‘out of-doors classroom’ occurred during…a clear sky dusk in the midst of a group of mud walled – thatched roof structures, minutes before I lead my squad out of the area for our nightly operations.

I endeavored to inform my assembled ‘audience’ of unschooled, beetle juice chewing, women rice farmers…in my tortured Vietnamese speak, replete with an Americanized repertoire of charades, i.e., hand gestures, facial expressions, and body movements to facilitate my otherwise, inept communication.

My desire was to describe for them, that tonight…pointing toward the brightly lit moon, Americans – Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, were walking on the surface of the moon.

My lecture lasted for several moments…at some point, I sensed, as I kept pointing to the moon while fully engaged in my charade filled communication attempt, there was perhaps, some minimal understanding – comprehension occurring.  I understood well, student giggles, finger pointing, and facial expressions may represent mocking or understanding…I chose the latter.

Again, that was late July 1969…I am confident, those Vietnamese rice farmers who attended my ‘lunar landing 101 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’ structured business environment.  However, we found 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.

Our 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…was that it will drive breakthroughs in machine (artificial) intelligence, a subject addressed in this blog previously, but, in intangible asset contexts.

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 in the form of stability and sustainability.

Should the U.S. government articulate, advocate, and remain focused ‘beyond 240 characters’…on the intangible asset outcomes of an aggressive and competitive machine (artificial) intelligence industry commitment, that would, without doubt, be a good thing, 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.)

Michael D. Moberly  October 2, 2017 St. Louis [email protected],  the ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ since May 2006, 600+ published blog posts on all things intangible where attention span, business realities, intangible assets, and solutions converge’.

Readers are invited to explore more blog posts, video, position papers, and books at https://kpstrat.com/blog

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