Reuters reported Wednesday U.S. officials are concerned such cutting-edge technologies as artificial intelligence and machine learning could be used by the Chinese to augment their military capabilities and achieve greater advancements in strategic industries. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are seen as key components of the military drone program, which is an integral part of the fight against the Islamic State group. Reuters said it had reviewed a Pentagon report that warns China is avoiding U.S. oversight and gaining access to sensitive technology as the debate continues on strengthening the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies based on national security considerations. An aide to Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told Reuters the lawmaker is working on legislation that would give the committee, which is composed by representatives from the departments of Treasury, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, Commerce, State and Energy, more authority to block some technology investments.
China has pledged billions of dollars to boost the development of artificial intelligence in the country's first technology research drive of its kind, highlighting Beijing's commitment to expanding the horizons of the nascent field. During an annual meeting of parliament, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told legislators Sunday that the nation would invest in new technologies and their associated markets. The Association of the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence's annual meeting, which took place last month, was rescheduled when the original dates in January conflicted with the Chinese New Year, displaying the vast clout of Chinese input on the international conference. In response to tensions between Beijing and Washington over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, China has reportedly begun developing "semiautonomous" weapons capable of making their own tactical decisions against predesignated targets.
China exported military drones worth hundreds of millions of dollars to over 10 countries, state-run media said Thursday. Shi did not name the countries that bought the drones, the numbers of drones sold or the exact deal value, but said that the academy's most valuable sale was worth "hundreds of millions of U.S. The academy is also planning to get an export license for the new CH-5, which made its first test flight last August, and can launch air-to-surface missiles and laser-guided bombs, Shi said. SIPRI said Chinese weapons were mainly bought by other Asian countries, and named Pakistan as the biggest buyer.