31 Nations Agree on AI

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But Russia, China, and India Nowhere in Sight

The U.S. spearheaded an agreement with 30 nations to voluntarily regulate military AI. But India, Russia, and China were nowhere in sight.

  • The agreement, not legally binding, commits signatories to responsible development and deployment of military AI.
  • The declaration aims to address unintended biases and incorporate safeguards into military AI systems.

On November 1st, the U.S., along with 30 other nations, agreed on the first major international effort to regulate the military application of AI voluntarily.

The agreement focuses on principles such as legal reviews, trainings, and transparency to ensure that military AI adheres to international laws and ethical standards. The signatories committed to the development and deployment of AI technology cautiously, avoiding unintended biases, and incorporating safeguards into military AI systems.

According to the U.S. Department of State website, the list of endorsing states includes but is not limited to:

  1. The U.K.
  2. Canada
  3. Australia
  4. Germany
  5. France

Admittedly, the declaration is not legally binding, unlike the Geneva Conventions, which govern the core of international humanitarian law, regulate the conduct of armed conflict, and seek to limit its effects. However, it is a significant step towards establishing international norms around the development, testing, and deployment of military AI.

We’ve recently seen a sample of what AI can do on the battlefield. Drones equipped with AI for target identification have become a focal point in conflicts. So, world leaders are reevaluating the risks associated with military AI.

Now, if you look at the full list, you’ll notice the absence of major world players. Chiefly, Russia, China, and India. Odd. Russia and China are considered leaders in autonomous weapons development. As for India, it has been steadily growing its military capabilities. So, their absence makes people sweat.

The Rabbit, the Turtle, and the Hare

Russia is one of those countries whose strategy boils down to brute force. Hit them fast, hit them hard. They have the capabilities to back up the said force. In fact, according to Wisevoter, Russia has the fifth largest military in terms of active military personnel. Their power, especially cyberwarfare, makes them an exceptional threat to modern AI-driven military technology.

Then comes the country that observes and then strikes: China. They have the world’s biggest military with 2,035,000 active military personnel. In recent years, China has been investing heavily in modernizing its military. This, in turn, raised the hackles of several countries, particularly the U.S. Everything is getting an upgrade to keep up with modern warfare demands.

And finally, India. It’s underrated military power-wise. I mean it’s the second-largest military in the world and has the third-largest ground force. It’s definitely not sitting idly these days either. It has upgraded everything it has in its arsenal. We’re talking nuclear submarines, fighter jets, aircraft carriers, and air defense systems. top of the line.

The main dealer? Russia.

Even the U.S. got jealous and wanted to separate the two.

When you look at India’s situation, you understand why it has gone above and beyond in its tech advancements. On the one hand, it lives in a state of constant conflict with some of its neighbors. On the other hand, its defensive airspace is about 30% larger than that of China. India’s military might be underrated but it’s agile, quick, and very well-equipped.

So Why Am I Writing All This?

Well, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently expressed the need for expanded military cooperation with China, focusing on military satellites and advanced defense technologies. So, the first and fifth militaries in the world want to team up. The first is extremely tech-savvy and the second is a force of nature. Enter India. They may not form an alliance, but they have a common… annoyance: the U.S. The Americans can’t outnumber them, so they are left with integrating their latest tech in their weaponry beyond AI drones to get a leg up.

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