HomeArtificial IntelligenceArtificial Intelligence NewsChina Military’s Use of AI Raises Alarm for USA

China Military’s Use of AI Raises Alarm for USA

From Silicon Valley to the Pentagon, alarms have been raised by China’s adoption of artificial intelligence for military purposes.

As the leader of a project aimed at accelerating the US defense establishment’s use of AI, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is one of those voicing worries. On Wednesday evening, he testified at a House committee regarding China.

This month’s paper from Schmidt’s Special Competitive Studies Project makes the case that the US military needs to be redesigned to address the danger.

This month’s paper from Schmidt’s Special Competitive Studies Project makes the case that the US military needs to be redesigned to address the danger.

The report states that China “continues to assemble a wide array of advanced capabilities tailored specifically to counter the traditional American way of warfighting.” In order to be able to weaken the US military with the use of AI, it recounts a 30-year effort by China to analyze US combat operations. It contends that a military’s capacity to employ AI more quickly than its adversary will be crucial to its power.

One of the report’s authors, Ylber Bajraktari, told that the report’s main objective is to convince the Defense Department, Congress, and the general public of the importance of stepping up efforts to create a US military force that is AI-enabled. Nevertheless, these projects have sparked concerns about an AI arms race that might ultimately intensify any conflict between the US and China.

Speaking at the House hearing, Schmidt cautioned that, in addition to the “civil-military fusion” that sees Chinese business companies closely collaborating with the military, China invests significantly more on AI for defense than the US does. In important fields like artificial intelligence and quantum computing, the US, according to him, is “slightly ahead” by a few years, but he issued a warning: “There’s every reason to think they have more people working on strategic AI.”

Even though US armed forces leaders have pledged to refrain from letting autonomous weapons choose human targets on their own, some US technology titans, including Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, have called for a pause in the development of artificial intelligence for military use due to growing ethical concerns about its possibly hazardous potential.

That’s in line with the growing concern about AI’s potential applications in society, which has been expressed by tech CEOs as well as those who are creating new products that have the potential to disseminate false information and create images that look real but aren’t.

Nevertheless, a lot of Defence Department and congressional officials fear that the US runs the risk of losing a potential future confrontation with China if it doesn’t create formidable AI-powered weapons swiftly.

Since China’s announcement in 2017 that it intended to take the lead in artificial intelligence by 2030, US defense officials have been particularly wary about China’s goals in this area. China unveiled a new military strategy in 2019 that integrates AI into every aspect of its military operations. In 2017, the Pentagon began its own initiatives to create and implement AI for use in battle scenarios.

US defense specialists are concerned about the possibility of red lines being crossed, such as AI-enabled satellite attacks and nuclear architecture, as well as the fact that the US and China, given the hostile environment, are not doing enough to mitigate the risk of a quick escalation.

Gregory Allen recalled numerous attempts by US defense officials to hold what he calls “military AI risk-reduction dialogues” with Chinese counterparts. Allen left his position as director of strategy and policy at the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Centre last year, where his role included efforts to accelerate the US military’s adoption of AI. He said that not one form of outreach was successful.

A breakdown in military diplomacy between the two nations, according to Allen, has resulted in China rejecting any invitations to discuss military artificial intelligence. What a horrible circumstance that is.

However, Liu Pengyu, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said China takes very seriously the need to prevent and manage AI-related risks and challenges and actively works to advance the international governance of AI. He did not directly address China’s alleged rejection of US bilateral overtures to discuss military AI.

In 2021, he claimed, China presented a document to a UN forum advocating regulating military applications of AI and supporting their responsible development. He also claimed that China was prepared to scale up exchanges and collaboration “with all parties” to address the hazards posed by military applications of AI.

The Biden administration implemented export curbs in October to stop the sale of expensive chips to Chinese companies working there, including the military, in an effort to rein in China’s AI ambitions. The White House is also working on a bill that would mandate a review of export investment in specific sectors, particularly in developing fields like artificial intelligence and quantum computing. An increase over prior years, the Defense Department has requested $1.8 billion for AI in the budget for 2024.

According to a statement from Kathleen Hicks, deputy defense secretary, this budget will undoubtedly increase over time in order to successfully integrate technology into their operations.

As one of the cutting-edge technologies of our day, artificial intelligence is being advanced and used by the PRC, she said. The Defense Department is integrating AI into many more facets of its mission, including battlespace awareness, cyber, reconnaissance, logistics, and force support, she continued, “making sure America continues to come out ahead.” Its ethical usage is a priority for the US, she claimed.

‘Feeble’ Commitments

Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, and civil society organizations like the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a powerful alliance with more than 180 members that includes Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, are concerned about such ambitions for – and investment in – autonomous warfare. The coalition calls for a new international agreement on the subject of weapons systems’ autonomy and criticizes the US’s ethical commitments to the appropriate military application of AI to date as “weak.”

Not everyone shares Hicks’ conviction that the US is winning the race for military AI. The chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, Republican Representative Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, told Bloomberg that the US and China are “neck-and-neck” in terms of artificial intelligence (AI), which he defined as a crucial technology that might determine global dominance in this century. He wants to stop American money from going to Chinese AI firms.

In March, the national security-focused Australian Strategic Policy Institute concluded that China was ahead in 37 of 44 crucial technologies, including artificial intelligence. The US was found to be superior in natural language processing, but China was shown to be superior in machine learning and AI methods, including deep learning and neural networks.

Some in Silicon Valley object to the phrase “AI arms race” amid fierce competition. At a summit on modern conflict held at Vanderbilt University this month, Sarah Shoker, a research scientist who oversees OpenAI’s geopolitics policy research team, expressed concern that the term could inadvertently confuse economic competition with defense and international security and lead to panic and fear-mongering.

According to Bajraktari, concerns about the military’s employment of AI are warranted. The competition with China, he added, “is not going away.”

It’s going to be long-lasting, draining, and probably existential, he said.

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