February 06, 2019

China is worried an AI arms race could lead to accidental war

Featuring Gregory C. Allen

Source: The Verge

Journalist James Vincent

Experts and politicians in China are worried that a rush to integrate artificial intelligence into weapons and military equipment could accidentally lead to war between nations.

According to a new report published by US national security think tank Center for a New American Security (CNAS), Chinese officials increasingly see an “arms race” dynamic in AI as a threat to global peace. As countries scramble to reap the benefits of artificial intelligence in various domains, including the military, the fear is that international norms shaping how countries communicate will become outdated, leading to confusion and potential conflict.

“The specific scenario described to me [by one anonymous Chinese official] is unintentional escalation related to the use of a drone,” Gregory C. Allen, an adjunct senior fellow at CNAS and author of the new report, tells The Verge.

As Allen explains, the operation of drones both large and small has become increasingly automated in recent years. In the US, drones are capable of basic autopilot, performing simple tasks like flying in a circle around a target. But China is being “more aggressive about introducing greater levels of autonomy closer to lethal use of force,” he says. One example is the Blowfish A2 drone, which China exports internationally and which, says Allen, is advertised as being capable of “full autonomy all the way up to targeted strikes.”

Read the full article and more in The Verge.

Authors

  • Gregory C. Allen

    Former Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Gregory C. Allen is a former Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Technology and National Security Program. Mr. Allen focuses on the intersec...