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A retired Vice Admiral of Pakistan has said that India is wasting money on it’s defence budget as the future of war is artificial intelligence (AI), reported Dawn, a Pakistan daily.

During a seminar tilted ‘Indian hegemonic design and its implications’, Arifullah Hussaini said,”I think India is wasting its money on defence. The future of war does not belong to conventional methods but artificial intelligence. Whosoever uses it well will win. Therefore, we have to learn artificial intelligence.”

“This is the era of hybrid war which consists of multiple layers, including cyber warfare, conventional war, diplomacy, spread of fake news, foreign electoral intervention, etc.”, he added.

Notably, what Hussaini said is quite right as a report on the effect of artificial intelligence on the US’ national security predicted that AI could revolutionize wars as much as nuclear weapons. The report explains that improvements in AI and related technology may shake up balance of international power by making it easier for smaller nations and organizations to threaten big powers like the US.

Nuclear weapons may be easier than ever to build, but still require resources, technologies, and expertise while code and digital data used in AI-technologies tend to get cheap, or end up spreading around for free, fast. Machine learning has become widely used and image and facial recognition now crop up in science fair projects, said the report.

India, which has yet to launch a national policy on AI, is too late to have jump on artificial intelligence bandwagon as comparing to its next neighbor China, which stands second in the world when it comes to committing money for developing AI programmes. It has built a $2 billion research park dedicated to AI in western Beijing and its spending more millions on AI research at universities and private firms. The research community in China is also far more robust than in India.

Pakistan, on other hand, is far far behind in AI race in south-east Asia alone. The bad state of politics and terrorism is so high in the country a Pakistan media once sattired that amongst the jobs that will be killed by artificial intelligence is that of President of Pakistan, which is a head of state.

On a serious note, Pakistan do have handful of startups working in artificial intelligence such as ADDO AI, touted as Pakistan’s first AI company, working in smart cities, microfinance and farming sector. Other than this most AI startup in the country is very mediocre and small utility based. And, none is contributing to defence sector or mechanism for that matter.

While in India, there are numerous startups working in defence area and even helping Indian army and defence personnel. However both India and Pakistan do not have any local AI firm of that big level as the US “Tony Stark-like firms”, pun intended.

Speaking about India countering China in AI race, it has recently joined hands with Japan to launch robotics and artificial intelligence in the defense segment.

Moreover, Malcolm Frank, head of strategy of Cognizant, a world-leading professional services firm, said in an interview that India along with United States and China are way ahead of everyone else in the AI game and are currently the top three contenders for the numero uno throne.

Top Image – Guardianlv.com

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