China warns: AIs will kill millions of people

Several Chinese experts and politicians fear that the Artificial Intelligence-controlled arms race will accidentally trigger a war one day.

According to them, the fuzzy borders of cyberwar could affect the way the armies envision conflict.

Confusion and potential conflicts

In a new report published by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), the US think tank on national security, Chinese officials increasingly view the dynamics of the arms race as a threat to world peace.

As countries strive to reap the benefits of artificial intelligence in various fields, including in the military field, many experts fear that international standards governing how countries communicate may become outdated, leading to confusion and potential conflicts.

As Gregory C. Allen, CNAS researcher and lead author of the report, explains:

“The specific scenario that was described to me by a Chinese official comes down to an accidental military escalation related to the use of a drone. Currently, the devices we are developing are capable of performing simple tasks such as circling around a target, but the Chinese autonomous devices are closer to deadly use of force.

This is particularly the case of the Blowfish A2 drone, exported internationally, which is capable of carrying out targeted strikes “.

Because drones are remotely controlled, the military tends to be more cavalier about their use. Without the risk of casualties, they are more likely to shoot them down, but also to deploy them in disputed airspace.

The fuzzy borders of cyberwar

In the absence of an international nomenclature that clearly defines the limits of the use of autonomous military equipment, the risk of misinterpretation by humans is extremely high, and this could accidentally lead to military escalation.

For example, if a drone or robot fires a warning shot at enemy troops, how will this action be interpreted?

Will the troops understand that this is an automated response or will they think this decision comes from a human command?

The United States and China are the only two superpowers with the resources to develop and produce this type of highly sophisticated equipment on a large scale.

Even though China has access to more data, America has a head start in the field of chips which are essential for processing the data streams that drive AI.

But this could soon change, with the implementation of major development projects by several Chinese companies and the acquisition of Western companies producing this type of technology.

While we expect some competition between China and the United States in the coming years, Allen says cooperation is also needed, especially with regard to military issues…