An American think tank has raised concerns that China’s development of artificial intelligence (AI) could upset the delicately balanced world power applecart.
Let’s put that another way: a US think tank is worried that America’s near-complete dominance of world power could be mildly usurped by China.
The Centre for New American Security’s (CNAS) report claims that ‘China is no longer in a position of technological inferiority relative to the United States but rather has become a true peer that may have the capability to overtake the United States in AI’.
Worrying stuff, particularly if you’re a fan of US global interventionism. Sounds like a good reason to invest a few trillion dollars in new AI-based weapons stuff to me.
However, the report might be a load of nonsense. Speaking to the BBC, Professor Noel Sharkey, head of pressure group the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, said that the think tank’s briefing ‘could just be sabre-rattling’.
Showing remarkable trust in the authoritarian Chinese government, Prof Sharkey said he’d met with officials who’d told him that there was no craving to build AI weapons in the country. And why would they lie?
Anyway, in the report, author Elsa Kania writes that ‘China’s People’s Liberation Army is also investing in a range of AI-related projects and PLA research institutes are partnering with the Chinese defence industry. The PLA anticipates that the advent of AI could fundamentally change the character of warfare.’
Sounds almost like a kind of military-industrial complex-style project. What a disgrace! What other countries would even dream of doing such a thing?!
I thought we were going to use AI to learn stuff, have interesting new experiences and sort out problems. But, no. Looks like it might just be used for more explosions and bullets. Ho-hum.