Artificial Intelligence is Converging with Geopolitical Risks in the 2020s
BRIC Countries will leverage AI differently against the West
I believe that the AI arms race is converging with geopolitical risks in the 2020s, namely BRIC countries, and in this we mean the China-Russia military alliance that seems to be taking place.
This was echoed in the news this week. MI6 chief Richard Moore says Beijing and Moscow ‘pouring money’ into technological advances that will reshape espionage and geopolitics.
Russia and China are also interested in developing AI that can make censorship first states more like effective technological police states. Russia is developing special AI-powered software that will be able to detect and prevent mass unrest as soon as next year, the Kommersant business daily reported Tuesday, citing the Emergency Situations Ministry.
What is human intelligence in a digital age? It’s actually AI taking over more and more of the national security, cybersecurity and even military control.
What I’ve been speaking about for some time is how China will invent a more sophisticated kind of surveillance capitalism. Few thinkers openly talk about this, since it’s somewhat controversial.
MI6 has been concerned for some time that China, in particular, could leapfrog the traditional technological advantage enjoyed by the west, and which underpins its intelligence activities. Rapid improvements in Beijing’s cyber capacity over the past five years have led some to conclude it has a capability for global surveillance.
The Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6, is the foreign intelligence service of the United Kingdom, tasked mainly with the covert overseas collection and analysis of human intelligence in support of the UK's national security.
The U.S. does not openly admit much about China and Russia’s prowess in AI as it relates to national intelligence, corporate espionage, cybersecurity and the AI of Military responses. I think we can conclude that in the 2020 to 2025 period China will at least equal the U.S. if not overtake them in the coming years.
The Pentagon have of course also been working to be able to predict collective events before they happen. AI isn’t just about local surveillance or advertising firms any longer. It’s about global surveillance, behavior modification at scale and prediction that can give some groups advantages over other groups.
“Our adversaries are pouring money and ambition into mastering artificial intelligence, quantum computing and synthetic biology, because they know that mastering these technologies will give them leverage,” the spy chief will said.
Richard Moore is not wrong, but even he doesn’t understand the extent I do not think. The world’s spies are trying to grapple with seismic advances in technology that are challenging traditional human-led spying operations, which have dominated espionage for thousands of years. Cybersecurity, global data surveillance and behavior modification of foreign populations is getting pretty sophisticated with the work Russia and China are doing.
Last month it emerged that MI6 and the UK’s other spy agencies, MI5 and GCHQ, had signed a deal with US tech and shopping giant Amazon to host their cloud computing. Political concerns and geopolitical tensions are becoming enmeshed with corporate firms. Microsoft, Palantir and AWS are very close with U.S. intelligence and National defense organizations like DARPA and the Pentagon. In China major firms also actively work with the Chinese Community Party.
This places AI as a technology on the front lines of global conflict, and not necessarily human betterment or useful enhancements. The AI for Good movement is for the most part made up PR and rhetoric. Though obviously AI can improve healthcare and well-being, this has not been the case with the impact of algorithms and social platforms on people. The behavior modification has been very damaging.
What Russia is developing for population control is very simliar to what the Pentagon has developed in the U.S. For instance, the futuristic technology uses machine learning to carry out a “multi-factor, comprehensive analysis of the likelihood of riots and unauthorized public events,” according to a draft methodology cited by Kommersant. So when AI is just another weapon in the conflict between countries, who regulates the dangers of the technology?
Western intelligence agencies fear Beijing could dominate all key emerging technologies within decades, particularly artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and genetics. China’s economic rise will and talent will equate with lead-frogging of European and Americans in what they once did best, dominate the world.
Artificial Intelligence isn’t the fire of the new age, but a ticking time bomb that could accelerate the risks of global geopolitical tensions and give one side an unfair advantage over the other leading to further conflict. The militarization of machine-learning killing drones is a great example of how this could occur. Cutting edge space weapons wielded by AI is yet another example. Russia and China are likely to invest in these fields far more than the United States in the 2020s given their global ambitions to dethrone the United States and their allies.
China will basically use Russia as a first test-ground of exporting its version of Surveillance Capitalism. For instance, in social media censorship. "We expect that all content posted on social media (in Russia) will be monitored by automated software," said Sarkis Darbinyan, head of the legal department for digital rights group Roskomsvoboda.
Companies like Palantir, Azure, AWS and dozens of others will profit from geopolitical rivalries while helping to develop Big Data, AI and machine learning technologies to further the self-interests of their home countries. The same is occurring in places like China and Russia.