Asian Militaries and Artificial Intelligence

25 Jun, 2018    ·   5484

Dr Vijay Sakhuja on transformative technological changes that have the potential to upset the delicate balance of military power in Asia

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has found significant use in military hardware, and AI-enabled weapons and sensors are being developed by the US, Russia and a number of European countries. Likewise, some Asian militaries such as China, Japan, South Korea, India and Singapore have announced plans to invest in AI-enabled military equipment. They are allocating substantial funds for in-house development as also for acquisitions through import substitution. These new technologies are poised to grow in popularity in the coming years, and many other Asian militaries can be expected to acquire these as advanced computing technologies become more readily available and affordable.

The Chinese political leadership has given primacy to disruptive technologies, and in 2018, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stressed innovation and investment in research and development of a new generation of AI capabilities. Military Balance, an IISS publication that provides annual assessments of the military capabilities and defence economics of 171 countries worldwide, states in its 2018 report that Chinese commercial enterprises are helping the military