How Do You Think China Aims to Use AI in Warfare? Know Here!

AIAI is the game-changer in critical strategic technology

The U.S theater operations and war campaigns for more than three decades, the leaders of the People’s Liberation Army or PLA are aware of the disparity between its capabilities and those of the U.S military in information and communication technology. On the other hand, disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence or AI, Quantum, Big Data, Cloud Computing, and the Internet of Things are also much relevant these days in the military domain. 

When talking about AI it is the ‘game changer’ that can increase machine speed and processing power is expected to be applied to military planning, decision support, and operational command as part of the ‘intelligentization’ of warfare. AI is a significant tool for the PLA as it provides an opportunity for Beijing to compete with Washington. While coming to China’s AI policy, it was described in ‘The Development Plan on the New Generation of Artificial Intelligence’ which was issued by the State Council in 2017. The MCF or the military-civilian fusion is being used as an approach to develop AI on the basis of China’s belief that it can accomplish ‘corner-overtaking’ to surpass the United States. 

In the Third Offset Strategy, the U.S. subsequently opts for AI to develop brand-new battle modes such as swarm and centaur. The Chinese military thinkers trust that under conditions of information warfare, dominating a system of systems confrontation rather than the large-scale attrition of enemy forces is the key factor in winning. So, the main strategy of the PLA in defeating an adversary is to create disruption or paralysis on the enemy side through a system of systems operations. And here the AI is believed to play a central role in intelligentized warfare to target and crash key elements of opponent operational systems.  

In terms of technology, China also sees the task of developing AI as a national strategic project emphasized as strongly as the ‘two bombs, one satellite in the 1950s and 1960s. Beijing believes that the success of the ‘two bombs, one satellite project is grounded on the Party leaders’. China will continue to integrate all the resources to develop AI weaponry. It is also likely to see the PLA apply AI to the domain of cognitive warfare, where out-of-the-ordinary tactics such as misinformation, disinformation, to influence strategies in propaganda warfare are in use. 

Deepfake, for instance, is one AI technology currently being developed by China to generate fake news, even video and satellite pictures, against rivals in an attempt to misguide opponents and regulate public opinion at home and abroad.