US bomber is why China suddenly wants to talk about nukes and AI
US bomber is why China suddenly wants to talk about nukes and AI.
A super-secret B-21 Raider stealth bomber flew for the first time in California on Nov. 10, flying at just tree-top level between the factory and Edwards Air Force Base.
This was just before Chinese President Xi Jinping visited San Francisco. Suddenly, China wants to discuss artificial intelligence and nuclear weapons.
According to the White House, President Biden and Chinese President Xi discussed the need to address the risks associated with advanced AI systems and improve AI safety through U.S.-China government talks.
Unlike this bomber, China does not have anything like it. With its cloud technology and open architecture, the B-21 is capable of continuous software upgrades. A B-21’s Pratt & Whitney engines provide plenty of power for AI and electronic warfare.
As China builds up its nuclear arsenal in the 2030s, the new bomber will join the nuclear deterrence triad.
A rapid transition from flight tests to combat capability will be observed as the B-21 matures. There is a rumor that the actual B-21 that flew recently is named Cerberus, after the mythical three-headed hound of the underworld. (I believe it because the early B-2 bombers had pet names like Fire and Ice, Penny the Pig, and Christine, after the haunted car in Stephen King’s IT)
The B-21 is expected to be ready for operations in two or three years, and nuclear certification is not far behind. There will be no comparison to the AI prowess of the B-21 Raider in the fleet.
The Chinese know it as well. In the meantime, China’s diplomats are talking about arms control while its combat pilots are pushing ahead with artificial intelligence.