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Countries Focus on AI Warfare Imbalance and Dependency

By South China Morning Post at 12:53 PM 5/30/2020 (PDT)

Surrounding the conversation around the growing usage of AI and technology in militaries, there is an imbalance between countries that have and countries that don’t have the capabilities to develop it. Countries such as the US and Germany are looking to solve this gap with partners in Kenya and Pakistan. However, developing countries look to this help uneasily due to fears that they won’t be able to become independent.

The US wants, “to get AI tech to our strategic allies and friends,” and they’re pushing for those governments to allow corporations like Google and Microsoft to do so. However, many of these recipients are wary and don’t want to become dependent on this help. This concern is also shared by certain developed countries like Germany, who says that “we must ensure that developing nations do not become solely dependent on developed nations”.

This fear is shown in how Kenya believes that, “if countries do become dependent of developed nations, it will hurt us all”. They fear that they will be unable to stand independently from developed countries in terms of defense and economically, if they accept this help. Not only that, they also fear that by accepting help, they would give up control of their country.

To combat this dependency, one developing country has taken an innovative approach. Cuba has already moved forward with their plans to develop their AI technology. They have certain wishes to develop the Ai tech, with “an eco-friendly research and development facility and expanding government support.” Unlike other developing countries, they are uninterested in the help of large corporations or outside government sources They instead want to focus on making sure that the AI stays in ethical hands and the hands of their people, through “managing this research in a decentralized manner, meaning the government will rely on the ideas and initiative of individual researchers and involve the local people”. This greatly contradicts the approach that developed countries have historically taken to this, by restricting access to such research and technology over fears of as how the US puts it, “prevent[ing] AI technology from falling into the wrong hands,”.

This imbalance and fear of dependency as well as improper usage stands in the way of countries being able to further their military but countries are looking to overcome this challenge. Whether it be through independent development like Cuba or through looking towards strategic allies to give the technology to as the US does, this world can look forward to more AI utilization in the military.

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