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Exploring Cognitive Warfare in Beijing’s Integration of Artificial Intelligence in Military Strategy

In this post:

  • Cognitive warfare, as described by a Chinese theorist, employs public opinion, psychological, and legal tactics for achieving victory.
  • In 2021, amidst a COVID outbreak, China initiated a cognitive warfare campaign targeting Taiwan’s public perception and sentiment.
  • China categorizes its cognitive operations into four main areas.

In recent discussions surrounding the advancements in technology, the military aspect has gained prominence. Notably, the concept of using personal data as a weapon in the context of conflict has emerged. Simultaneously, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been exploring the potential of wearable technologies to influence the decision-making process of its soldiers.

The Belt and Road Initiative forum

The topic of artificial intelligence was prominently featured at the Forum on the Belt and Road Initiative, an event commemorating a decade of the “new Silk Road” initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping. During the forum, there was criticism of the restrictions imposed by U.S. President Joe Biden on the export of advanced technology to China. Beijing expressed support for the establishment of a UN body for global governance of artificial intelligence applications.

The military implications of AI

Beyond economic considerations, artificial intelligence has significant military implications. The PLA has been increasingly focusing on “intelligent warfare,” a concept now referred to as “cognitive warfare.” This approach involves using techniques and technologies to shape the opinions and biases of adversaries, thereby creating a strategically advantageous environment.

Cognitive Warfare and Taiwan

There is a notable debate in China about cognitive warfare’s potential and its ability to attract Chinese politicians. It is seen as a means to achieve victory in Taiwan without resorting to conventional weapons. Koichiro Takagi, a military information technology expert, has emphasized the significance of cognitive warfare in shaping military strategy.

AI’s role in national security

Chinese President Xi Jinping has underlined the importance of artificial intelligence for national security and military ambitions beyond China’s borders. This highlights the integration of AI into military strategies.

The U.S. military and AI

Notably, the U.S. military is also working on integrating artificial intelligence into information processing and unmanned weapons, recognizing its strategic importance.

Challenges of cognitive warfare

Cognitive warfare introduces a new dimension to warfare, particularly concerning a country like China, known for its strict control of information. The potential for deep fakes and manipulation of videos and images to influence public opinion, especially in Taiwan, is a concern. Achieving this would require not only advanced computer engineering capabilities but also a significant accumulation of detailed personal information.

Data collection and cyberattacks

China’s extensive data collection efforts have raised concerns. There is a belief that China has obtained vast amounts of data on government officials and ordinary U.S. citizens through widespread cyberattacks. Incidents like the 2015 breach of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the 2017 Equifax cyberattack have been linked to Chinese involvement.

Wearable technology and psychological support

The Chinese military is also investing in wearable technology and AI-based psychological support systems to enhance soldiers’ performance in real combat situations. Recognizing that the effectiveness of warfare depends on the psychological state of personnel, these advancements aim to ensure stable psychological quality among soldiers.

Implications of chip restrictions

Washington’s restrictions on the sale of advanced chips for artificial intelligence and supercomputing to China are seen as a response to these developments. Such restrictions could significantly impact China’s ability to replicate high-end semiconductor products developed in the United States and Taiwan.

Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly intertwined with military strategies, leading to the emergence of cognitive warfare. This approach has both strategic implications and ethical concerns, particularly in the context of data collection and manipulation. The integration of AI into military operations is a global trend, shaping the future of warfare.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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