- Both the military and the civilian sectors face difficulties with artificial intelligence (AI).
- Major powers are actively investing in AI for weapon systems, despite a widespread belief that harsh restrictions should be placed on the use of AI in military applications, particularly with regard to autonomous weapons that are not under human control.
- This discrepancy presents important questions, and India needs to carefully consider how to establish a national military policy for AI while also participating in global efforts to reduce the hazards associated with the technology.
UN Resolution on Autonomous Weapons:
- Concern over deadly autonomous weapons is growing, as evidenced by the recent vote in the UN General Assembly. The resolution, which was overwhelmingly approved, aims to address the problems that these kinds of weapons present.
- But the differences in the voting patterns of the main powers—China abstaining and the US and its allies supporting show the complexity of the situation.
- India’s vote against the resolution points to a complex position that needs more examination.
Developments in Major Powers:
- The US, China, and India are actively working on building autonomous weapons in addition to engaging in diplomatic posturing and participating in discussions on definitions, legitimacy, and negotiating venues.
- The US emphasizes the incorporation of AI into defense management through programs such as the Replicator.
- China uses its industrial capabilities for quick autonomous weapons manufacture, focusing on creating an “intelligentized” PLA.
US-China Dynamics and Asymmetric Strategy:
- While acknowledging China’s superior military might, the US is looking to innovate through autonomy powered by AI.
- In order to confront China’s increasing military might, the Replicator effort places a strong emphasis on deploying thousands of unmanned devices and relies on innovation.
- A key component of US strategy continues to be retaining human control over autonomous weapons, highlighting the necessity for commanders to use discretion.
India’s Pragmatic Approach:
- India’s UNGA vote in the negative indicates a shift toward pragmatism in its handling of international affairs.
- In the midst of China’s challenges and military imbalances, India understands the use of AI in defense planning.
- India’s rejection vote is in line with a reasonable approach to global governance, ethics, and national security, even though the country lags behind the US and China in military AI.
India’s Technological Partnership and National Capabilities:
- India and the US have a burgeoning technology alliance that requires significant investments in national capacities.
- India needs to concentrate on key AI sciences, technological capabilities, military doctrines, and institutions for efficient AI integration into defense administration if it wants to fully benefit from this partnership.
- Even with India’s advantages in AI, catching up to the big boys will take a large amount of capital and careful planning.
- In the process of developing its own AI capabilities, India needs to continue its legacy of establishing global standards.
- Given India’s expanding technological capabilities, previous attempts in global control of emerging technologies can be increased.
- India can help shape responsible military AI use by partnering with like-minded nations and putting a focus on human involvement in autonomous weapon systems.