August 21, 2016

China's 'death drones': Nation is eyeing killer cruise missiles powered by artificial intelligence

China is building a range of killer cruise missiles which will be equipped with AI. Pictured is a missile is launched from a guided-missile destroyer during a live ammunition drill in the East China Sea
Threat of AI taking over humankind could be one step closer to reality, as China is building a range of killer cruise missiles.

The missiles, dubbed 'death drones, will be equipped with artificial intelligence to guide them in flight and potentially even choose new targets.


The country is leading the world in the development of AI weapons, a senior designer said today.

'We plan to adopt a "plug and play" approach in the development of new cruise missiles, which will enable our military commanders to tailor-make missiles in accordance with combat conditions,' Wang Changqing director of the General Design Department of the China Aerospace and Industry Corp told the state-run China Daily newspaper.

'Moreover, our future cruise missiles will have a very high level of artificial intelligence and automation,' Wang added.

The live-fire drills (pictured) that began on 2 August followed China's strident rejection of an international arbitration panel's ruling last month that invalidated Beijing's claims to a vast swath of the South China Sea
'They will allow commanders to control them in real-time manner, or to use a fire-and-forget mode, or even to add more tasks to in-flight missiles.'

China is already a leader in the field of using artificial intelligence in missiles, Wang added.

President Xi Jinping is overseeing an ambitious military modernisation programme, including developing stealth fighters and building aircraft carriers.

The live-fire drills that began on 2 August followed China's strident rejection of an international arbitration panel's ruling last month that invalidated Beijing's claims to a vast swath of the South China Sea.

That led to days of angry statements from Beijing, followed by live-firing naval exercises in the South China Sea and the launch of regular aerial patrols in the area.




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