Japan rolls out policy to promote AI usage in defense

In this post:

  • Japan has launched a policy to guide the use of AI in its defense sector.
  • The Defense Ministry’s policy is Japan’s first basic policy on AI use in defense.
  • The policy recognizes the risk of AI but seeks to enhance its efficiency.

Japan has rolled out its first basic policy on AI to promote the use of the technology in the defense sector. The Defense Ministry unveiled the policy on Tuesday as it responds to the changes in defense operations due to the evolving technology.

Also read: A Japanese startup will translate manga into English with AI

The move is also to keep pace with countries like China and the US that are reportedly using AI “technology’s military applications.” The policy also highlights Japan’s reservations about AI.

Japan looks to AI for military efficiency and cybersecurity concerns

According to the Defense Ministry, AI helps minimize human errors and pushes labor-saving through automation. This is in addition to enhancing the “speed of combat operations.” The blueprint focuses on areas including logistic support, command and control, and identification of military targets.

In the official statement, Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said, “We will deepen cooperation with the private sector and relevant foreign agencies by proactively conveying the Defense Ministry’s view.”

Also read: Japan estimates a steep spike in energy needs due to AI and data centers

According to the ministry, it will use AI to cover seven priority areas including information gathering and analysis, cybersecurity, and work efficiency. The policy states that:

“This will speed up decision-making, ensure superiority in information-gathering and analysis capabilities, reduce the burden on personnel and save on labor and manpower.”

The policy is also a plea to Japan to leverage AI in responding to modern methods of warfare while also operating more efficiently. It follows in the footsteps of the US and China, who are reportedly considering using AI to improve decision-making and “smarten” their militaries.

However, Japan also acknowledged the limits of AI technology with the policy. It mentions cases where there are no precedents, because “AI learns from past data.” It also noted some concerns about the technology’s credibility and potential misuse which remain a matter of debate for many.

Due to the nature of the technology, which is prone to biases, Japan has stressed the need to implement the policy under the government’s supervision.

Cryptopolitan reporting by Enacy Mapakame

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