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How AI & Robotics would affect Asia

By Mervin See, Channel NewsAsia

Published: 18 Mar 2019 - 06:54 AM

The COSTAR will be discussing on the upcoming issue of the Rise Of Artificial Intelligence, which has implications for the economies of numerous countries and the ethics and rights of AI internationally.

The debate over AI is a problem that especially impacts Asia, with China spearheading the region in rapidly advancing AI. In recent years, countries have experienced rapid domestic growth, such as France, which experienced a gross domestic growth of 2.54% to 4.5% from 2025 to 2026. Countries have also had an increase in unemployment rate such as in China, where they announced the Virtual Education Project that replaces all primary and secondary school teachers with AI systems. AI robots are more efficient and effective in carrying out their duties which can lead to them replacing low-skill jobs such as farming where they are able to work tirelessly to utmost perfection. This might lead to an increase in countries’ economy but also an increase in unemployment, causing financial and psychological impacts to individuals. The swift change in demand for AI-related or high skilled jobs had forced individuals to adapt quickly and change their career paths to find new jobs. Thus, a proper balance of Economic growth of a country must be put in place to ensure job security for individuals.

The future of Artificial Intelligence?

The future of Artificial Intelligence?

The Ethics and Rights of AI is a pressing issue, as programming may be put in place to target certain races or genders, increasing prejudice and dividing groups. AI rights are also hotly debated as they can be controlled by developers to a certain extent and can be prevented from carrying out biological processes, such as thinking, preventing them from processing information. Problematic scenarios might occur as a result of this. For example, an attack by humans on AI might have a lighter punishment than an attack by AI against humans. If an AI attacks a person, who is at fault, the AI or the developer? Thus, the ethics and rights of AI and Machine should be carefully crafted to prevent discrimination or prejudice between Machine and Man.

COSTAR will also debate on the issue of Autonomous warfare. It is a major issue that might lead to a reduction of international security, as terrorist groups such as ISIS might use robots as a mechanism for terrorist acts, and an AI arms race between countries increases tensions between them. However, it can also be a positive thing, heightening the security of the countries against threats and lowering crime rates because of the numerous layers of security measures put in place.

The Debate over Autonomous warfare is a pressing one. The loss of judgement and restraint would cause countries to rapidly increase their military AI’s without repercussion. This would cause a stalemate in warfare as countries would continuously send AI as troops without restraint. Countries might engage in inhumane activities such as bombing the various zones where civilians or people controlling the robots reside in order to break stalemates. Legal Accountability in warfare would have to be reconsidered, as taking human life would be a more serious issue. Furthermore, with the advancements in military robotics, the public might encourage sustained wars as no human lives would actually be lost.

The accountability and compliance with International humanitarian law (HIL) is hindered as the UN cannot account for the number of AI military in each country causing disarmament efforts to be futile. For example, in may 2026, Mexican authorities had to ban the commercial purchase of AI-modified weaponry after five civilians were killed by Shutterbot attacks. Terrorist groups who acquired these AI would cause more severe terrorist attacks. Countries might also accuse each other of sponsoring weapons to terrorist groups or attacks against one another, increasing tensions between countries.