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    Fighting in The Future: India Wants Lethal Artificial Intelligence Weapons

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    Not wanting to be left behind in the race to develop artificial intelligence-powered surveillance and defense system, India is getting ready to build a lethal autonomous weapon systems for warfare capabilities, it was revealed Monday.

    With the creation of a 17-member task force, India's goals range from "establishing tactical deterrence in the region and visualizing potential transformative weaponry" to "developing intelligent, autonomous robotic systems and bolstering cyber defence," the Times of India reported.

    According to the report, the task force is expected to make recommendations on how best to "make India a significant power in AI, in terms of both offensive and defensive needs, especially in aviation, naval, land systems, cyber, nuclear and biological warfare arenas."

    "The world is moving towards AI-driven warfare," Ajay Kumar, the secretary of India's Defense Ministry, told the publication. "India is also taking necessary steps to prepare our armed forces because AI has the potential to have a transformative impact on national security. The government has set up the AI taskforce to prepare the roadmap for it."

    The task force, which was established in February, is said to include officials from India's Army, Naval Air Force, Indian Space Research Organisation, Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Atomic Energy Commission.

    According to Venture Beat, the group is expected to submit its first report in the next three months on how and where the technology can be used. The group is expected to release additional reports within the next two years on how machine learning can be used to its advantage.

    The urgency for AI-enhanced defense systems was first highlighted in April 2018 by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Defense Expo 2018 in Chennai, India.

    "New and emerging technologies like AI and robotics will perhaps be the most important determinants of defensive and offensive capabilities for any defence force in the future," Modi told members at the conference. "India, with its leadership in information technology domain, would strive to use this technology tilt to its advantage."

    The announcement comes days after OpIndia reported that the Indian government had gone ahead with spending some $2.1 million to produce ammunition for critical weapons and tanks in case of a 30-day war.

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