Joe Biden urged to counter ban on AI weapons amid China tensions

Joe Biden's coordination with EU on China discussed by expert

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An official report created for Mr Biden and the US Congress claims AI will “compress decision time frames” and speed up military actions humans would not be able to trigger in time. The paper also claims China and Russia would be unlikely to respect any ban.

However, those backing calls for AI weapons to be banned have argued they could lead to severe breaches of international legislation.

Professor Noel Sharkey, spokesman for the Campaign To Stop Killer Robots, said: “This is a shocking and frightening report that could lead to the proliferation of AI weapons making decisions about who to kill.

“The most senior AI scientists on the planet have warned them about the consequences, and yet they continue.

“This will lead to grave violations of international law.”

The report was backed by tech chiefs including Andy Jassy, Amazon’s next chief executive, Google and Microsoft AI bosses Dr Andrew Moore and Dr Eric Horvitz.

It comes amid escalating tensions between the US and China in the contested waters of the South China Sea.

On Sunday it emerged US military bosses were drawing up plans to deploy troops on the ground to help multinational fleets target their missiles more accurately over longer distances.

Washington’s plans are part of a wider strategy to oppose Beijing’s attempts to assert its control over the contested region.

In February, the US Navy conducted training drills involving the USS Dwight D Eisenhower aircraft carrier strike squadron.

A researcher at the PLA Academy of Military Sciences said these ground forces could be sent to collect data for missile and air strikes.

Du Wenlong told China’s state TV channel CCTV: “If the Seals were deployed to an island, either from air or by boat, and to conduct various reconnaissance to locate targets, this information can help the strike group better attack targets and boost their strike precision.”

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One of the main aims of last month’s drill was to train US Navy Seals in Nato strategies.

The move could be an important advance for US’ relations with its allies and their joint combat potential.

Major European allies such as the UK, Germany and France have pledged to send vessels to the disputed waters.

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