Scary: China Explores Using AI To Shape Foreign Policy
By Aaron Kesel/Activist PostAugust 01, 2018
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China is using artificial intelligence as a tool to help it decide its foreign policy, detaching from the emotions of useless humans that get in the way of the thought process. What could possibly go wrong allowing A.I. to help decide foreign policy with other countries?
The South China Morning Post has reported that "Several prototypes of diplomatic systems using artificial intelligence are under development in China, according to researchers involved or familiar with the projects."
The Post notes that "one early-stage machine, built by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is already being used by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."
If it's still not worrying you that robotic algorithms could be deciding foreign policy in China with other nations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs further confirmed to the South China Morning Post that they had plans to use A.I. in diplomacy.
"Cutting-edge technology, including big data and artificial intelligence, is causing profound changes to the way people work and live. The applications in many industries and sectors are increasing on daily basis," a Ministry spokesman said last month, the news agency reported.
According to SCMP, the decision process by the A.I. takes into account "information ranging from cocktail-party gossip to images taken by spy satellites, to contribute to strategies in Chinese diplomacy."
Although, the final decision is in the hands of Chinese officials according to Fu Jingying, a researcher with the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. The fact that A.I. could be helping leaders and governments decide whether or not to go to war or other important policy decisions with a country is especially worrying.
However, the use of A.I. would not only implant decisions without human emotion into these officials' heads over a period of time until it was seen as acceptable, but it would eventually shift politics into allowing algorithms and these systems to decide strategic decisions by itself passing the technology off as an advancement. This is exactly what China wants for its next generation of these machines according to the report.
The machines have access to numerous Chinese government databases, according to Fu, who added that the system was equipped with "artificial intelligence technology, including deep learning and a neural network for risk assessment or prediction of events such as political upheaval or terrorist attacks, with "encouraging results."
This is in line with what WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been warning about: the power of A.I. expanding into influencing human beings. Essentially, Assange stated that we need to draw a line in the sand so to speak between the struggle between man and machines and not allow machines that can control human beings.
Activist Post has continuously reported on the shift away from human beings to machines. This is a far bigger problem than just influencing humans' decisions, as Elon Musk has warned that UBI (universal basic income) "will be necessary over time if (AI) artificial intelligence takes over most human jobs."
This report about the Ministry using artificial intelligence comes as A.I. is replacing more and more jobs daily.
Activist Post previously reported that University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and the Alan Turing Institute aimed to bring 'game-changing' benefits of artificial intelligence to NHS patients and replace some workers in the hospital.
Recently Activist Post also reported that even finance wasn't safe from the robot apocalypse. China Construction Bank (CCB) opened a Shanghai branch run entirely by robots in a testing phase for finance with little to no human involvement.
Robots are beginning to take over every aspect of society. They are also headed for retail businesses delivering freight and eliminating truckers.
But, again, robots malfunction. In fact, it sounds quite dangerous allowing a freight truck to drive itself; if the sensors break down on a big rig truck going 60-70 MPH, that's potentially 40 tons barreling down the highway unattended except by artificial intelligence. As Activist Post reported back in March, Uber had to halt nationwide testing of its A.I. vehicles following the death of a pedestrian in Arizona. And that was a car actually attended by a human back-up operator.
Automation clearly isn't a foolproof technology; and it can also be exploited by hackers for malicious purposes that could even include programming a bot to kill an individual.
Not even journalists are safe from robot replacements. It should be one of our real worries that journalism and political strategic analysis are being actively looked at by not just China but other superpowers as human jobs that can be replaced by robots.
Even the U.S. seems to be involved in testing the use of artificial intelligence for shaping foreign policy, according to a document dated 1997-2012, at the Naval Post Graduate school entitled, "Artificial intelligence and foreign policy decision-making."
However, under the administration of Donald Trump, it seems to be less of an important goal to support the development of the technology. Last year the sitting U.S. President's budget called for cutting A.I. research at the National Science Foundation by 10 percent, to a mere $175 million.
It should be understood by now that algorithms and A.I. will continue to shape the world we live in as they are increasingly used in nearly all areas of human activity. Along with the lethal risks noted above, an algorithm could be programmed to not tell the truth about an elected official and cover up crimes, thus affecting foreign policy, just as social media algorithms can affect public perception or shut down dissenting voices either intentionally or by mistake.
Reiterating Julian Assange's statement on humans versus machines: we collectively only have one planet, and if the machines take over, that's it ... "undetectable mass social influence by A.I. is an existential threat to humanity."
Tesla founder Elon Musk has previously said that artificial intelligence is potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons. That's a shared thought with scientist Stephen Hawking, who also previously warned that "artificial intelligence could spell the end for the human race If we are not careful enough because they are too clever."
This is the beginning of The Terminator movie, as even scientists agree that machines will begin to think for themselves in the near future and could be a threat to the human race.
Let us just hope that China and other nations utilizing artificial intelligence don't end up with an intelligence that has the persona of MIT's Norman, a disturbed image-captioning A.I. obsessed with murder. Otherwise, we could all be in deep trouble and in a nuclear radiation dust cloud in a few years thanks to artificial intelligence making an incorrect calculation.
China's Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan, calls for exceeding all other nations in A.I. by 2030.