According to Shen and Zhang, the goal will be to “make the opponent unable to perceive, or perceive garbage information and false information, and make sure its own side can accurately and quickly perceive the opponent and the battlefield.”
On the influence front, AI attacks will “disrupt and destroy” enemy morale and thinking “by interfering with brain function and affecting people’s ideology, value judgment, psychological emotion, and the like,” they stated.
Information attacks will destroy enemy information data processing hardware used by command and control systems and autonomous weaponry.
Big Data will provide the fuel for Chinese intelligent combat through gathering masses of information used in algorithm training, pattern mining and optimization analysis crunched by powerful computers.
The combined elements will guide military operations by producing intelligence analyses and battle plans for both troops and unmanned systems that will then conduct rapid and accurate attacks on targets.
The authors argue that humans will remain dominant in intelligent warfare, but the melding of humans and machines will help overcome what the authors say are brain shortcomings such as fatigue, forgetfulness and emotion.
AI machines will not get tired, forget or have moods and will reliably boost both speed and high accuracy.
Commanders will continue to make high-level decisions and overall planning. Robot systems will be used for memory, calculation and management tasks based on masses of data and their ability to digest data at high speeds.
The Chinese believe AI weaponry will learn rapidly from the battlefield “like a human recruit growing into a battle-hardened veteran,” Shen and Zhang wrote.
A recent report done for a US Congress commission on China by the analytical firm Jane’s HIS Markit warns that China may well surpass the United States in the field of AI.
The report argued that the Chinese military plans to use AI for conducting Fifth Generation Warfare – emerging irregular warfare “that is increasingly unconstrained in both the means used to attack or influence adversaries and the targets selected for attack.”
The new warfare concept calls for combining traditional military power with influence and information operations ranging from cyber attacks and electromagnetic strikes combined with using influence operations to attack institutions, government control and military effectiveness.
“Autonomous and swarmed unmanned vehicles have the potential to,” as one engineer who supported China Electronic Technology Group Corp’s June 2017 record-setting test of a swarm of 119 drones noted, “become a disruptive force in military operations that will change the rules of the game,” the Jane’s report said.
Elsa B Kania, a researcher at the Center for New American Security, says China’s drive for AI arms superiority poses a major security challenge.
“Looking forward, the PLA’s militarization of AI will influence the trajectory of this unfolding military revolution, presenting a unique strategic challenge to the United States,” Kania wrote in a recent paper.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the Pentagon is investing in advanced arms technologies to deal with China, including advanced autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.
“We will prioritize rebuilding readiness while modernizing our existing force,” Mattis said in February.
This first appeared in AsiaTimes here.