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China’s Military Developing AI Weapons and Systems for Warfighting and Regime Change

China’s military is investing in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) weapons and technical systems, aiming to enhance the capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in combat scenarios.

According to a report by the US Air Force think tank, the PLA has recently disclosed its work on AI systems, similar to ChatGPT, in military writings. The report highlights China’s ambitions to be the first country to deploy AI-powered systems on the battlefield.

The PLA is focusing on seven main areas for AI weapons-related systems, including human-machine ties, rapid decision-making, network warfare, cognitive warfare, wartime logistics, space operations, and military training.

The report, titled “China’s ChatGPT War”, was published by the China Aerospace Studies Institute, part of the Air University based at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

China’s development of AI technology and chatbots has raised concerns among US national security officials. The Biden administration has even restricted exports of advanced computer chips to China over fears that they could be used to bolster China’s AI-powered weapons.

AI technology can be a significant force multiplier for the PLA, particularly in human-machine relations. ChatGPT-like programs are expected to be integrated into unmanned combat systems, enabling them to collect information, analyze it, and plan attacks on enemies.

Another focus area for the PLA is improving decision-making with the help of AI. These AI warfighting tools aim to increase the speed and autonomy of commanders’ plans and attacks.

The Pentagon is also accelerating its work on AI-powered joint domain command and control systems to better deter a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan. China, on the other hand, is developing its own AI-powered command and control systems.

China’s military is also investing in AI for cyber warfare. The PLA plans to use generative AI for cyberattacks, including designing, writing, and executing malicious code, as well as carrying out highly targeted social engineering scams and phishing campaigns.

In terms of cognitive warfare, the PLA sees AI technology as a means to raise the intensity of cognitive warfare to a whole new level. This could involve using AI chatbots to mimic senior government officials and spread disinformation or confuse adversary forces.

Moreover, China aims to leverage AI for military logistics in warfighting. AI technology can help in planning transit routes and autonomously delivering support materials accurately.

While the PLA recognizes the potential of AI in revolutionizing warfighting, there are concerns about its use. The Chinese military fears that AI systems may be uncontrollable or penetrable by adversaries, posing a risk to national security and the ruling Communist Party.

China’s development of AI technology for military applications is viewed as a “leapfrog” strategy to gain an advantage over militarily stronger countries like the United States. If successful, it could undermine the traditional superiority of US forces.

Perspective: China’s investments in AI for military purposes underscore the country’s ambitions to become a dominant global power. By developing advanced AI weapons and systems, China seeks to challenge the existing military balance and potentially achieve an edge over its adversaries. These developments raise important ethical and strategic questions regarding the future of warfare and the potential risks associated with the uncontrolled use of AI. It is crucial for the international community to closely monitor and address these advancements to ensure the responsible and safe integration of AI in military operations.

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