To hear Chinese state media tell it, the soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army will go into battle in the future wearing an array of high-tech gizmos. In their hands will be enormous weapons combining a rifle with a 20-millimeter grenade launcher akin to the old — and cancelled — American OICW. On top of that, they will have heads-up displays and networked positioning systems so Chinese troops can monitor each other digitally, almost like a video game.
In his last Reddit post, Stephen Hawking warned that the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) could tear society apart. Dr. Hawking’s words should inspire caution in all who deal with AI. Fortunately, however, this challenge is not unprecedented. U.S. officials should heed lessons learned at home and abroad over past industrial revolutions. It’s too soon to tell whether AI means the end of human labor.