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Japan, US explore AI integration in drones, new fighter jets

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Japan has entered into an agreement with the United States to begin joint research on artificial intelligence (AI) for integration into drones and fighter jets in the face of increasing aggression by China.

The deal, reached by the two parties in December 2022, seeks to “revolutionize airborne combat” by integrating AI systems with drones and other military aircraft. While full details have yet to be revealed, the partnership is expected to focus on developing an AI system for unmanned air vehicles (UAV) with several functionalities, including the ability of drones to obtain data by flying near targets. 

Additionally, the study will explore real-time data processing for UAVs and enhanced autonomy for military use cases.

The joint research aligns with Japan’s intention to replace its F-2 fighter jets with an advanced set of planes with AI features, but the U.S. has yet to disclose any such plans publicly.

“The AI developed in this joint research is expected to be applied to UAVs operated alongside Japan’s next fighter aircraft,” read a statement.

Apart from deepening their knowledge of AI, Japan’s new fighter jets will incorporate emerging technologies, including directed-energy and hypersonic weapons, swarming drones, a virtual cockpit in helmets, and autopilot capabilities.

Despite signing a joint study on AI, the U.S. is not part of Japan’s plan to phase out the F-2 fighter jets. Instead, Japan has turned to the United Kingdom and Italy in an ambitious plan that could see the total replacements of its jets by 2035.

U.K. and Italy are also keen on replacing their Eurofighter jets with the proposed sixth-generation fighter dubbed the BAE Systems Tempest in a similar timeline with Japan. The desire to explore new partners outside of the U.S. may be linked to the rigid rules on confidentiality, but the study with AI could see greater information sharing between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states.

The AI study will explore a litany of ethical considerations, including privacy concerns
and dire warnings by the United Nations comparing the technology to nuclear weapons.

AI faces an uphill climb in both nations

As copyright issues threaten AI adoption in Japan and the U.S., regulators are moving in with ideas for solutions.

In mid-January, Japanese AI and blockchain experts initiated a committee to solve the AI copyright woes, with lawmakers urging firms to take necessary steps to respect the rights of creators.

In the U.S., the Copyright Office has made significant progress with the launch of a public consultation, generating responses from industry firms and other government agencies. Despite their attempts, AI developers are in court in connection with alleged copyright violations and unjust enrichment by disgruntled creators.

In order for artificial intelligence (AI) to work right within the law and thrive in the face of growing challenges, it needs to integrate an enterprise blockchain system that ensures data input quality and ownership—allowing it to keep data safe while also guaranteeing the immutability of data. Check out CoinGeek’s coverage on this emerging tech to learn more why Enterprise blockchain will be the backbone of AI.

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