AI as a dual-use technology – a cautionary tale

Few countries were scarred more by a quantum leap in military technology during the Second World War than Japan; the atomic explosions that decimated Hiroshima and Nagasaki nearly 80 years ago are still seared into the nation’s psyche. So, it is unsurprising that the country is wary of academia giving research impetus and energy to military technological development, even if it encourages dual-use technology with broader benefits to society. Artificial intelligence (AI) is too attractive a game-changing technology for powerful countries not to consider its use in military conflict, especially if it has spinoffs during times of peace. One of Japan’s most respected computer science and engineering researchers is urging caution.

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