China’s New AI Policy Doesn’t Prevent It From Building Autonomous Weapons

The Next Web's Tristan Greene combed through a recently published "position paper" detailing China's views on military AI regulation and found that it "makes absolutely no mention of restricting the use of machines capable of choosing and firing on targets autonomously." From the report: Per the paper: "In terms of law and ethics, countries need to uphold the common values of humanity, put people's well-being front and center, follow the principle of AI for good, and observe national or regional ethical norms in the development, deployment and use of relevant weapon systems." Neither the US or the PRC has any laws, rules, or regulations currently restricting the development or use of military LAWs. The paper's rhetoric may be empty, but there's still a lot we can glean from its contents. Research analyst Megha Pardhi, writing for the Asia Times, recently opined it was intended to signal that China's seeking to "be seen as a responsible state," and that it may be concerned over its progress in the field relative to other superpowers. According to Pardhi: "Beijing is likely talking about regulation out of fear either that it cannot catch up with others or that it is not confident of its capabilities. Meanwhile, formulating a few commonly agreeable rules on weaponization of AI would be prudent." "Despite the fact that neither the colonel's article nor the PRC's position paper mention LAWs directly, it's apparent that what they don't say is what's really at the heart of the issue," concludes Greene. "The global community has every reason to believe, and fear, that both China and the US are actively developing LAWS."

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