This week, President Trump took shots at Google for what he calls unfair search results for his name and unfair treatment of conservatives by Silicon Valley liberals. In this same vein, he talked about how some people see “an antitrust situation” with Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

Before Trump’s latest Twitter tirade began, on Sunday the New York Times reported that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wrote a memo to President Trump earlier this year asking him to create a national strategy for AI akin to the kind China has created. China’s strategy was introduced last year and aims to make China the world leader in AI by 2030, in part through “military-civil fusion” with companies like Baidu and Tencent.

Mattis reportedly said in the memo the United States isn’t keeping pace with China and recommended a presidential commission be created. While quoting an article by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Mattis wrote that the commission should be established in order to inspire “a whole country effort that will ensure the U.S. is a leader not just in matters of defense but in the broader ‘transformation of the human condition.’” The memo was apparently sent weeks after the Trump administration formed an AI advisory council.

Do not consider the Mattis memo and Trump’s argument with Google in isolation.

The president more than likely doesn’t believe he’s being discriminated against or care about antitrust regulation and is just teeing off on big tech companies to win points with his far-right base. But even if he does actually believe Google treated him unfairly, it…

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