Friday, December 11, 2020

Pakistani Military Launches Defense AI Program

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has launched a Cognitive Electronic Warfare (CEW) program at its Center for Artificial Intelligence and Computing (CENTAIC), according to media reports. Modern connected weapon systems generate vast amounts of data requiring artificial intelligence and machine learning software for speedy analysis and rapid decision-making on the battlefield. 

AI/ML in Military


Modern electronic warfare requires the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to analyze vast amounts of data coming from a large number of sensors mounted on various military platforms deployed on the ground, in the air and on the seas. EW systems can collect a considerable amount of data about an enemy’s frequency use, radar deployment, and many other factors. Here is how British defense contractor BAE Systems defines it:

"Cognitive Electronic Warfare (CEW) is the use of cognitive systems – commonly known as Artificial Intelligence (AI) or machine learning – to enhance development and operation of Electronic Warfare (EW) technologies for the defense community. Cognitive systems can sense, learn, reason, and interact naturally with people and environments, accelerating development and implementation of next generation EW threat detection, suppression, and neutralization technologies". 

Indian defense analyst Pravin Sawhney says Pakistan Air Force may have already begun using CEW  systems. In a recent video posted on YouTube, Sawhney believes PAF used CEW in Pakistan's successful Operation Swift Report launched in response to India's bombing of Balakot in 2019. 

Sawhney speculates that, after the success of PAF's Operation Swift Retort, Pakistani military has recognized the importance of using its air force as the lead branch for the deployment of AI/ML and CEW. The establishment of Center for Artificial Intelligence and Computing (CENTAIC) at PAF's Air University is a manifestation of Pakistani military's commitment to this strategy. 

Sawhney says that PAF's commitment to AI/ML and CEW is also a step toward achieving greater interoperability with the PLAAF, the Chinese air force. Pakistan and Chinese air forces have been conducting joint air exercises since 2011. 

PLAAF's General Hong is currently in Pakistan for Shaheen IX joint air exercises with PAF.  He has been quoted in Pakistani media as saying: “The joint exercise will improve the actual level of combat training and strengthen practical cooperation between the two air forces”. Welcoming the Chinese contingent, PAF Air Vice Marshal Sulehri has said, “The joint exercise will provide an opportunity to further enhance interoperability of both the air forces, fortifying brotherly relations between the two countries”. Shaheen IX started a week after Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe met with President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit to Pakistan.

‘Digital Silk Road’ project is one of 12 sub-themes agreed to at the Belt Road Forum 2019 (BRF19) in Beijing. This state-of-the-art information superhighway involves laying fiber optic cables in Pakistan which will connect with China in the north and link with Africa and the Arab World via undersea cable to be laid from Gwadar Deep Sea Port built as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The global project will include 5G wireless networks deployment in BRI (Belt Road Initiative) member nations, including Pakistan.

Watch Indian defense analyst Pravin Sawhney describe Pakistan's defense AI program:

https://youtu.be/xaAKlKoNoVU


 

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

China-Pakistan Defense Production Collaboration Irks West

Balakot and Kashmir: Fact Checkers Expose Indian Lies

Is Pakistan Ready for War with India?

Pakistan-Made Airplanes Lead Nation's Defense Exports

Modi's Blunders and Delusions 

India's Israel Envy: What If Modi Attacks Pakistan?

Project Azm: Pakistan to Develop 5th Generation Fighter Jet

Pakistan Navy Modernization

Pakistan's Sea-Based Second Strike Capability

Who Won the 1965 War? India or Pakistan?


51 comments:

Maverick said...

Folks this is the future of technology. I do AI/ML innovation on commercial side in tech, i am shocked that no one is talking about it.

The amount of resource allocation based on variable sensors during battle field will give Pakistan army an advantage that no one can envision at least for now.

I throw a Use case which will change your perspective on how military tech works. Lets just say the movement of India Army and collection of its movement data over time will be seen as a pattern and can be harnessed to give you the predictability confidence that they are about to preempt. The scrambles will be given and you will have 10s of minutes before a surprise air strike... the MRE ( machine reasoning element) and the compute power to harness billions of input makes the decision a strong one...

Rejoice that military is such a forward thinking arm of Pakistan..

Muzaffar K. said...

It’s heartening to know that Pakistan Military has launched the latest Defense AI Program. Actually, it was the need of the hour. I wonder who could have helped establish this most modern-day center (CENTIAC) for Cognitive Electronic Warfare (CEW) program for Artificial Intelligence and Computing like you have mentioned in your above Vlog. By the way, never heard about the existence of such a center before. I am also thinking about how the data are streaming back to the center for analysis from the ground and from the air ( maybe from AWACS type Early warning airborne planes). Anyway, it’s true, modern-day warfare and it’s success in a war theatre really depend on how a military adapts itself to the latest technologies being used in the world.

Habibullah K. said...

With the completion of CPEC Pakistan Air Force and PLAF have a huge responsibility of safeguarding all road and sea routes to and from Gwadar! They have to maintain a thorough surveillance of all the routes round the clock !

Riaz Haq said...

2020 Gave #India a Sharp Lesson on the #Chinese Military. With its #AI #tech, #China is not just a #military threat. If it goes to war, #Pakistan too will join the war, & #Kashmiris will not be left behind. With India becoming a #US ally, all this is real. https://thewire.in/security/pla-china-military-india-lessons

Worse, even now, the Indian military is refusing to accept that its 2009 two-front war fighting strategy, predicated on Pakistan being the primary threat, has been rendered irrelevant. Hence, General Rawat’s structural reforms pivoted on the two-front thinking too stand superseded. China is more than a military threat now. If it decides to go to war, Pakistan too will join the war, and the people of Kashmir will not be left behind. Given China’s assessment of India becoming a US ally, all this is real.
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Being non-contact and invisible, intelligentised war places a premium on Artificial Intelligence and has four distinctive technology features: Dominance of the electromagnetic spectrum; autonomy; drones and unmanned systems; and human-machine collaboration and combat teaming. Such a conflict will not be a border war limited to salami slicing, as the Indian military believes. It will be war of occupation where there would be minimal loss of PLA soldiers’ blood. Given the unbridgeable mismatch between the conventional capabilities of the two sides, India’s nuclear deterrence would be rendered useless.

The Indian military – even seven months into the crisis – remains oblivious about what lies ahead. Under the Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, the Indian military is three decades behind the PLA in its war concepts (for campaign); and tactics, techniques and procedures (for battles). While it is preparing for war with ‘human soldiers in the lead’, the war that the PLA will fight would have ‘machines with autonomy in the lead’.

For General Rawat, a war with China would be fought in the physical domains of land, air and sea with the army leading the campaign. For the PLA, the war-winning domains against the Indian military would be the virtual ones – of cyber, electronic and electromagnetic spectrum. General Rawat believes that time, effort, and finances should be spent on creating the organisation for supporting physical domains of war. He is pushing for raising of a joint integrated air defence command, integrated theatre commands and a maritime theatre command by 2023.

This is when the PLA would be ready with its de-centralised war where the sensors-to-shooters cycle, now called data-to-decision cycle, would have the human role largely limited to fast decision-making to remain ahead of the enemy’s kill chain. General Rawat believes that speedy infrastructure building on India’s side would help the operational and tactical movement of forces. The PLA, on the other hand, is focused on unmanned systems.

Ameer said...

Pakistan Air Force now has the central role in defense of Pakistan. Mission Planning, Machine Learning, Sensor Fusion, Data Links and Cognitive Learning in Full Spectrum all converge to provide an effective Electronic Warfare. Pakistan needs a large number of very talented PhDs and System Experts to provide rapid solutions.

Riaz Haq said...

Ameer,

PAF has a very ambitious agenda with its Project Azm to build a 5th generation fighter jet in Pakistan.

Development of a new advanced fighter is a wide-ranging effort that will encompass building human capital in a variety of fields including material science, physics, electronics, computer science, computer software, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, avionics, weapons design, etc etc.


Pakistan Air Force's Air University, established in 2002 in Islamabad, will add a new campus in Kamra Aviation City. The university already offers bachelor's master's and doctoral degrees in several subjects. Ex Pakistan Air Force Chief Sohail Aman told Quwa Defense News that the campus will “provide the desired impetus for cutting-edge indigenization programs, strengthen the local industry and harness the demands of foreign aviation industry by reducing … imports and promoting joint research and production ventures.”

https://www.riazhaq.com/2017/08/project-azm-pakistan-to-develop-5th.html

Riaz Haq said...

The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its use in battle space allows military commanders to develop concepts for Mosaic Warfare. Human innovation, combined with AI will create its own tactics and strategy.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2268682/mosaic-warfare-a-peep-into-multi-domain-battle-space

After discussing the contours of Mosaic Warfare, we need to highlight the contemporary concepts and weapons systems; Chinese and Russian development of weapon systems and new concepts of war fighting and strategy against US concept of net-centric warfare are important to analyse.

Pravin Sawhney, in a recent article published in The Wire, states that with the arrival of new disruptive technologies, new war domains surfaced, and to remain relevant for real-time warfare, the kill-chain became complex and vulnerable. Complex because more war domains got added and vulnerable because there was more to be secured. By early 2000s, the People Liberation Army of China, fixated on the US military, identified six war domains, namely, land, air, sea, cyber, space, and electromagnetic spectrum management. The PLA’s ‘Informationised’ warfare was about building capabilities in these domains, especially new ones which were uncontested and uncongested. The pivot of this warfare was cyber capabilities which it has been honing since the turn of the century.

Once disruptive technologies like AI came into warfare by 2012, China’s 2015 military reforms took place. The singularly important issue which would transform the character of war, and went unnoticed in the Indian military was this:

Focus had shifted from domains and geography to time-sensitive mission-sets. Called the ‘Intelligentsised’ warfare, the PLA intends to fight this in the Western Theatre Command (WTC) against the Indian military. It would be ready for this by 2025. The US military, keeping pace with the PLA, calls this fusion or Mosaic Warfare.

Surely, if war happens, the PLA will pull back its border forces which are engaged with the Indian army. It would unleash its informationised warfare predicated on cyber, space and its projectile-centric strategy based around long-range ballistic and cruise missiles. Since the projectile-centric strategy depend upon kill-chains for command and control, the Indian military, unlike the US military, lacks capability to disrupt or destroy them.

PLA at present may not go to war, but it will prepare for intelligentsised war. For that, it needs information on enemy’s habitat, ecosystem, operational logistics, enhanced winter stocking, operational and tactical infrastructure vulnerabilities, deployment patterns, command and control, recalibration of weapons, training and everything on how the enemy proposes to fight under Airland Battle Doctrine.

The PLA will be in no hurry to disengage and will certainly not de-escalate or de-induct forces since it wants to observe the Indian military’s growing war preparedness through the winter months. Make no mistake, the PLA threat is permanent.

Coming back to Mosaic Warfare, the major challenge is the flow of battle space data. At present no military in the world has the capability to deliver all available data to all entities operating in the battle space e.g. the data on an F35 superjet may not be available to a ground-based rocket launcher commander or a submarine-based platform in the sea and vice versa. This restriction is based on the good old principle of ‘need to know basis’, where a groundforce commander may not have much utility of looking through the data available with a pilot in a fighter jet, and since it takes time to sift through useful intelligence and utilise it, there was no need felt to develop multi-domain battle space systems. However, this is going to change.

Mosaic warfare will result into development of weapons and platforms suited for multi-dimensional missions, duly supported by AI tools, and will need an innovated and agile soldier and officer cadre that delivers the goods in the entire spectrum of battle space.

Anonymous said...

So, while India continues to induct new fighter jets and other military platforms in haphazard manner, it seems PAF is making very calculated and strategic decisions in order to offset these acquisitions by India. The February 26/27 skirmishes last year proved that subsystems and integrations trump platforms. In the next few years, how institutions such as the center for artificial intelligence and cognitive electronic warfare fare will in many ways decide the outcome of the war.

Riaz Haq said...

MOSAIC WARFARE: SMALL AND SCALABLE ARE BEAUTIFUL
BENJAMIN JENSEN AND JOHN PASCHKEWITZ

https://warontherocks.com/2019/12/mosaic-warfare-small-and-scalable-are-beautiful/


It is 20XX. A limited war breaks out involving a territorial dispute in the South China Sea. A U.S. Marine Corps assault team moves out of the back of an MV-22 pulling boxes containing a mix of computer chips, printable explosives, and communications gear, and prepares to strike a high-value target. They look more like the cast of MythBusters than Marines. They link up with prepositioned quadcon containers delivered by an unmanned logistics system. The team opens the container and starts assembling a mission payload. After analyzing the different options generated by the Athena computer-assistant, the team leader opts for a mix of hunters and killers: three surveillance drones to find and fix the target, two electronic attack systems to isolate the objective, and three explosive drones trained to target the critical vulnerabilities. One grunt 3D prints explosive charges while another loads new attack profiles for the mission in a tablet using blockly code. They cross check the cloud-based intelligence database and download updates to help the machine-learning algorithm recognize the target and ignore new enemy decoys and civilians. After launching the mission package, the team boards the MV-22 and plans its next attack as it proceeds to a new firing site.


The rapid and creative combination of small, cheap, flexible systems described above represents a new theory of victory: mosaic warfare. The idea emerged in the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), parallel to service concepts like Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment, Multi-Domain Operations, and Multi-Domain Battle. Like these concepts, mosaic warfare describes how to conduct multi-domain maneuver against adversaries possessing precision strike capabilities. Unlike these concepts, mosaic warfare places a premium on seeing battle as an emergent, complex system, and using low-cost unmanned swarming formations alongside other electronic and cyber effects to overwhelm adversaries. The central idea is to be cheap, fast, lethal, flexible, and scalable. Rather than building one expensive, exquisite munition optimized for a particular target, connect small unmanned systems with existing capabilities in creative and continually evolving combinations that take advantage of changing battlefield conditions and emergent vulnerabilities. Put simply, it’s Voltron on the cheap: a human-machine team combining flexible unmanned systems with coup d’oeil (strategic intuition) at a tempo that an adversary cannot match. As forces attack simultaneously from multiple directions they produce a series of dilemmas that cause the enemy system to collapse.

Over the past two years, a unique collaboration between DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office, Marine Corps University, and the U.S. Army Reserve 75th Innovation Command resulted in a series of war games to test this concept. This article explores the results. Based on the initial findings, the mosaic concept is a viable way ahead for developing 21st century multi-domain formations and capabilities. The U.S. military should accelerate and support the development of the concept through unified experimentation encompassing people, process, and technology. We need more marines and soldiers, along with coalition partners and scientists, fighting war games and conducting field experiments to transition the mosaic concept into new equipment and tactics that define how America fights.

Riaz Haq said...

Why China’s Latest Jets Are Surpassing Russia’s Top Fighters

https://www.forbes.com/sites/sebastienroblin/2020/11/10/why-chinas-latest-jets-are-surpassing-russias-top-fighters/?sh=3967f7ae2e26

After the Soviet collapse in 1991, Russia sold China fourth-generation Su-27 and Su-30 Flanker jets, a powerful twin-engine fighter known for its supermaneuverable flight characteristics. The Shenyang Aviation Corporation went on to develop three separate clones of the Flanker: the J-11, carrier-based J-15 Flying Shark and strike-oriented J-16.

However, according to a study published by the Royal United Service Institute, the world’s oldest military think tank, the apprentice may have surpassed the master.

The study’s author, analyst Justin Bronk, writes:

“…from a position of dependency on Russian aircraft and weapons, China has developed an advanced indigenous combat aircraft, sensor and weapons industry that is outstripping Russia’s... China has started to build a clear technical lead over Russia in most aspects of combat aircraft development. Moreover, Russian industry is unlikely to be able to regain areas of competitive advantage once lost, due to deep structural industrial and budgetary disadvantages compared to the Chinese sector.”

To be sure, China still imports turbofan engines from Russia as it struggles to perfect domestic alternatives such as the WS-10B and eventually the powerful WS-15. However, the latest Chinese fighters increasingly incorporate weapons and avionics that are more capable than those of their Russian counterparts.

Factors behind the shifting fortunes of China and Russia’s military aviation sector include:

Beijing’s annual military spending exceeds Moscow’s two or three times over (Russian spent $70 billion on defense in 2020, China $190 billion)
Cross-applicability of China’s well-developed civilian electronics industry to manufacturing advanced avionics, resulting in Western-style computers, sensors, and datalinks.
Willingness of Chinese firms to copy technologies from across the globe through reverse-engineering or industrial espionage (particularly hacking)
Western sanctions on Russia have reduced Moscow’s access to components necessary for high-performance sensors
That isn’t to say that the Chinese military holds all the advantages. Most notably, Russian military aviation has far more combat experience, with most of its fighter and bomber crews rotated into combat tours in the Syrian Civil War. The Chinese military has only begun in the last decade to implement more realistic joint combat training with other branches of the military.

The VKS (Russian Aerospace Forces) also still operates some specialized aircraft types without real Chinese equivalents, such as the MiG-31 interceptor, Tu-160 and Tu-22M supersonic bombers, and the Su-25 ground attack jet.

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One of the key weight-saving tricks in modern aircraft design is to substitute metal components with lightweight composite materials. Those weight reduction translate into major improvements in agility and range.

Extensive use of composites can be pricy and technologically demanding. Bronk writes that China, nonetheless, has taken a lead in incorporating composites in J-11B, J-11D and J-16 fighters, all derived from Russian Flanker jets. The end result is jets that incorporate additional systems compared to the Russian original, yet still achieve a superior thrust-weight ratio.

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https://rusi.org/publication/whitehall-reports/russian-and-chinese-combat-air-trends-current-capabilities-and-future

Riaz Haq said...

Tensions Continue To Rise Between India, China, And Pakistan

https://theowp.org/tensions-continue-to-rise-between-india-china-and-pakistan/

By James Laforet

Hostilities between China and India have been rising once again since April, and this July, Chinese and Indian soldiers clashed along their shared Himalayan border in the strategically important Galwan Valley. 20 Indian and five Chinese soldiers were killed in hand-to-hand fighting, with both sides blaming the other for initiating the battle. (Reports of barbed wire-wrapped metal rods and nail-studded clubs could indicate premeditation rather than an escalated misunderstanding.) Another recently-surfaced report claimed that in August, China used a high-energy electromagnetic radiation weapon system to force Indian troops to retreat from two strategic hilltops. The microwave-like attack reportedly caused troops to vomit and left them unable to stand after fifteen minutes. Neither encounter violated the no-live-fire rule in place since 1962.

There is a long history of tension and violence between India and China. In 1962, the two countries fought a short war along the Himalayan border after India gave asylum to the Dalai Lama following the 1959 Tibetan uprising. In September and October 1967, the two sides clashed again in Nathu La and Cho La. In 1975, Chinese soldiers killed four Indian soldiers in Tulung La. According to Indian authorities, the Chinese forces deliberately crossed the border in order to ambush them – allegations which China denied. In 1986, a tense standoff occurred between the two as both sides massed large numbers of troops along their shared border, causing analysts to fear the situation would escalate to all-out war. In 2013, Ladakh’s Depsang Bulge area saw a 21-day standoff, and in 2017, a 72-day standoff occurred after Indian troops moved in Bhutanese Doklam to prevent China from extending a road further South into Doklam. The confrontation ended peacefully, and both sides withdrew.

Over the past several years, China has invested over $70 billion into Pakistan as part of its Belts and Roads initiative, an effort to control important trade routes and increase its economic and political clout. Some analysts are reporting that China has indicated it wishes to heavily invest into the Kashmir region, between India and Pakistan. This would likely increase tensions.

India and Pakistan have disputed ownership of Kashmir since Britain’s hasty retreat from the area in 1947, when the countries established their independence. The two sides fought a short, but bloody, war over the region, with India securing two thirds. This set the stage for a protracted, and sometimes deadly, standoff.

In 1965, a 17-day war between the two, including the largest tank battle since World War II, resulted in thousands of casualties. In the early 1970’s, interventions by both parties in Bangladesh fuelled another clash. The Kargil War began in 1971 when Pakistan occupied the Indian-controlled Kargil area, prompting India to respond militarily. Intense pressure from the international community persuaded Pakistan to withdraw from the region. Pakistan’s departure ended that conflict, but smaller clashes along Kashmir’s border have resulted in many casualties, including the deaths of civilians.

China, India, and Pakistan all have nuclear arms, and perhaps the threat of mutually assured destruction will hold these forces in limbo. However, any nuclear attack will have devastating lasting impacts on civilian populations. The international community must make every effort to ensure that this conflict does not evolve, An independent third party may be vital in facilitating peaceful resolutions to these decades-old conflicts.

Riaz Haq said...

#Chinese Global Times: #Defense experts believe that the joint training amid the #COVIDー19 #pandemic shows the profound friendship between #China and #Pakistan, which is conducive to improving the comprehensive combat capability of the two militaries. https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/take-an-objective-view-on-chinese-pakistan-air-force-drills-china-tells-india/article33385259.ece

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday the exercise was “a regular arrangement”.

"As all-weather strategic cooperative partners, China and Pakistan have friendly exchange and cooperation in political, economic, military, security and a broad range of areas,” spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, when asked at a regular press briefing about whether the exercise reflected the two countries’ broader strategic posture towards India.


"We are committed to jointly upholding peace and stability in the region. The cooperation project you mentioned is a regular arrangement between Chinese and Pakistani militaries that doesn't target any third party,” he said. "We hope it will be viewed in an objective manner.”

The exercise taking place amid the COVID-19 pandemic showed “the profound friendship” between the two militaries, the Communist Party-run Global Times said earlier this month when the Chinese Defence Ministry announced that the drills would carry on until the end of December.

Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the newspaper “the confrontations between India-Pakistan and China-India will not affect the normal military exchanges between China and Pakistan”. "India's frequent military exercises with other countries have given it little reason to question normal military exchanges among other countries,” he was quoted as saying.

The Chinese Defence Ministry said the drills would “improve the actual combat training level of the two forces”, and did not reveal details about the aircraft involved. The previous exercise, held in China in August 2019, involved 50 aircraft, according to Chinese State media.

China and Pakistan on December 1 signed a new military memorandum of understanding to boost their already close defence relationship when China’s Defence Minister and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Wei Fenghe met Pakistan’s leadership in Islamabad and visited the headquarters of the army at Rawalpindi.
He called on both countries to “push the military-to-military relationship to a higher level, so as to jointly cope with various risks and challenges, firmly safeguard the sovereignty and security interests of the two countries and safeguard the regional peace and stability,” State media reported.

Riaz Haq said...

In a book titled "National Security and Conventional Arms Race: Spectre of a Nuclear War", #Indian author Asthana warns #India "cannot win a war" against #Pakistan due to existing #politico-#military reality. #Modi #Rafale #Nuclear #China #CPEC https://thewire.in/security-security/national-security-arms-race-nc-asthana

In his latest book, National Security and Conventional Arms Race: Spectre of a Nuclear War(Jaipur: Pointer Books, 2020), Asthana turns his critical attention to the politics and discourse of national security and war. His conclusion: India has no clarity about its military and strategic objectives vis-à-vis its stated adversaries, Pakistan and China. And that there is a huge mismatch between the militaristic official and media rhetoric, on the one hand, and the reality, which is that India cannot defeat either country militarily. Instead of pouring vast sums of money into expensive weapons imports, India would be better served by finding solutions to the security challenges both Pakistan and China present by strengthening itself internally and pursuing non-military solutions, including diplomacy.

While these arguments may be broadly familiar to security analysts, Asthana also focusses on what he calls the “politics of warmongering” which has consumed public discourse in India over the past six years. Under the delusion that India has somehow, magically become invincible, he notes how a large number of Indians seem to be itching for a war.


This belief is both fuelled and strengthened by relentless arms imports. Asthana puts the figure India has spent on arms import in the five years since 2014 at $14 billion, and the undisclosed cost of the 36 Rafale jets purchased from Dassault Aviation is not included in this. But even this sum pales before the $130 billion India is projected to spend on arms imports in the next decade, including on 100+ even-more-expensive fighter jets to make up for the shortfall caused by the Modi government’s decision to scrap the earlier deal for 126 Rafales.

As the fanfare over the arrival of the first Rafales showed, each of these purchases is hailed and sold to the public by the media as weapons that will flatten India’s enemies. But of course, this is far from the truth. Asthana argues in his book that the frenzied import of conventional weapons will never guarantee a permanent solution to the military problem posed by Pakistan or China because both Pakistan and China are nuclear-weapon states and cannot be decisively defeated on the battlefield.

Given the myth of Indian invincibility, the futility of warmongering should be obvious. Yet, as the past few years have demonstrated, jingoism in India is at an all-time high.

While conventional weapons can provide a tactical advantage in limited theatre conflicts short of war, the danger lies in escalation – which is hard to control at the best of times but especially so when the public discourse has been vitiated by the politics of warmongering.

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Warmongering as a political project also includes assiduously inculcating in the minds of the people the notion that once India goes to war under the leadership of a strong-willed, leader, it will perforce defeat its enemies and usher in a golden age of a never-ending Pax Indiana.

This dangerous notion fits well with the domestic political agenda both as a diversion from, and alibi for, poor governance and other failings.

Riaz Haq said...

Security threats looming in 2021

By Indian Army Lt Gen Kamal Davar (Retd)

https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/security-threats-looming-2021

It was on the night of 29-30 August 2020 that some units of the Indian Army, in a swift move, deployed themselves on the dominating Kailash Range on own side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This action ensured Indian troops dug in strongly at some of these dominating heights which overlook the tactically important Spanggur Gap. This audacious move by the Indian troops appear to have tremendously irked the Chinese on the ground. Despite seven rounds of talks between senior commanders of both sides ostensibly to discuss disengagement, no progress appears to have taken place. Meanwhile, according to reliable media reports, over a lakh of soldiers from both sides, with tanks, artillery guns, missiles, helicopters and fighter aircraft have been deployed and are ready for action. The Chinese build-up continues ominously, which clearly points to its likely intentions. The Chinese currently appear to have engaged successfully in their “salami slicing” tactics especially in the area of the Depsang plains and some portions of the Pangong Tso, between Fingers 4 and 8, respectively.
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As India continues to match China’s build-up, it will have to factor in China’s military collusiveness with its client state Pakistan against India in the adjoining sectors of J&K. That Pakistan will continue to keep the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border in J&K alive by recurrent ceasefire violations and efforts to induct terrorists to keep stoking the fires in J&K should be expected as always. Till India does not remind Pakistan of the latter’s many fault lines, in more ways than one, Pakistan will continue to needle India. Meanwhile, India must build on the atmosphere, among the people, for progress generated by the recent successful conduct of local elections in J&K.

A lesson from our ancient history, oft-forgotten, is the imperative of internal unity in the country. External challenges can be handled adequately when the nation retains internal cohesiveness. That most of India’s internal security challenges have an external dimension to it is well known and we thus need to factor in the linkages between the two to shape our response. Dealing with the situation in J&K, in Naxalism affected areas and the Northeast will require the correct amalgam between sound security measures and exhibiting compassion cum sensitivity to the local populace. In a democracy, legitimate protests are normal and thus governments at the Centre and states must not get unduly perturbed over these and deal with dissent sympathetically and not treat those who differ from the establishment’s views as anti-nationals.

India still, unfortunately, remains as one of the largest importers in the world of defence equipment. The Centre will have to make the DRDO and the many ordnance factories it has under its ambit far more accountable and effective. India has a vibrant private sector too with some having a reasonably good record in defence production. Giving the private sector a level playing field and an assurance of purchasing their output will give a fillip to indigenous defence production. In addition, the government must ensure that as it pays huge amounts to foreign military entrepreneurs while importing state-of-the art equipment, it must insist upon transfer of critical technologies, and ultimately production of the same platforms, weapons, ammunition, spares etc., within the country. With many security challenges confronting the nation, there is no alternative to indigenous defence production.

Riaz Haq said...

The joint exercises started on December 7 in Pakistan and lasted about 20 days, with China sending warplanes including J-10C, J-11B fighter jets, KJ-500 early warning aircraft and Y-8 electronic warfare aircraft, and Pakistan sending warplanes including the JF-17 and Mirage III fighter jets, according to the CCTV report.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202101/1211811.shtml

The J-10C and J-11B are very suitable to simulate India's fighter jets in mock battles, Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the Global Times on Monday.

Many aspects of the J-10C mid-sized fighter jet, including the size, aerodynamic characteristics, aviation and weapon systems and overall combat capability, are comparable to the France-made Rafale, a type of fighter jet in service with the Indian Air Force, Fu said, noting that the J-11B heavy fighter jet has very similar appearance with India's Su-30 fighter jet but with superior avionics system.

The deployment of Chinese special mission aircraft like early warning aircraft and electronic warfare aircraft would contribute to the improvement of joint operations in an integrated combat system, Fu said.

Air forces from both sides focused on large scale confrontation, including large scale aerial battles and use of forces in mass and close-quarters aerial support, CCTV said, noting that more than 200 sorties were conducted by both sides, as both forces' combat capabilities were boosted in learning from each other.

Chinese pilots could learn from the aggressive maneuvers and rich experiences of Pakistani pilots, Fu said.

"Unlike previous Shaheen series exercises, this time we comprehensively deployed aviation forces and paratroopers, and added real combat-oriented training courses like maritime training for the first time," said Ding Yuanfang, a Chinese Air Force deputy brigade commander, on CCTV.

Both sides also deployed special operation units, and the Chinese Naval Aviation also sent warplanes to the drills, CCTV reported.

Fu said that the Chinese Naval Aviation had not frequently sent warplanes to joint exercises with a foreign country, but it has been increasing training intensity and changing its training model in recent years.

Participating in the Shaheen-IX exercises was a great chance for the Chinese Naval Aviation to learn from Pakistan forces and improve its combat capabilities, Fu said.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Army ranks 10th most powerful army in the world
In the current list, Pakistan stands at the 10th spot out of 138 countries. It holds a PwrIndx* rating of 0.2083 (0.0000 considered 'perfect').


https://www.globalvillagespace.com/pakistan-army-ranks-10th-most-powerful-army-in-the-world/


Pakistan’s army becomes the 10th most powerful army in the world according to the Global Firepower Index 2021 released this week.

Pakistan has improved 5 places in the same list since 2019. In 2020, Pakistan stood as the 15th most powerful country. Global Firepower Index is an annual ranking that ranks a country according to its military strength.

In the current list, Pakistan stands at the 10th spot out of 138 countries. It holds a PwrIndx* rating of 0.2083 (0.0000 considered ‘perfect’).

Pakistan Army was ranked the 15th most powerful military in the world, according to the same list issued in 2019.

The Global Firepower ranks the military forces of 138 countries by comparing and examining a wide range of factors and not just the numbers of soldiers or weapons deployed by a country.

The Global Firepower ranking mechanism involves scrutinizing a large variety of factors, which include the manpower, population, geography, diversity of weapons, and the state of development. Countries that are equipped with nuclear weapons get bonus points, however, the nuclear stockpiles of a country do not amount in the final score.

Countries that are equipped with naval fleets but lack diversity are penalized, however, landlocked countries that do not maintain navies are not penalized. The Global Firepower ranking creates the PowerIndex score for each country after examining more than 55 factors, and this ranking allows small and technologically advanced nations to compete with large countries that are less developed and advanced.

The heightened PowerIndex score is 0.0000, which is an unrealistic goal for any country. However, the closer a country is to this number, the more powerful it’s military.

According to Global Firepower’s ranking, Pakistan has an estimated total of 1,204,000 military personnel.


Riaz Haq said...

#PakistanArmy conducts tactical drills in Thar Desert in #Sindh, close to the #Indian border. Troops of #Karachi Corps are participating in the four-week long ‘Jidar-ul- Hadeed’ exercise in extreme desert conditions. #Pakistan #military https://tribune.com.pk/story/2283911/pakistan-army-conducts-tactical-drills-in-thar-desert

Troops of Pakistan Army’s Karachi Corps are practicing in tactical drills and procedures as part of exercise “Jidar-ul- Hadeed” in Thar Desert that commenced on January 28, 2021, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement issued on Saturday.

The military’s media wing said the four-week long defensive manoeuvre exercise is aimed at validating concept of defence in deserts.

“The exercise is being conducted in extreme desert conditions, 74 kilometers ahead of Chhor, under conventional operations setting, culminating on February 28, 2021,” read the statement.

On Friday, a week-long multinational naval exercise hosted by Pakistan started in the Arabian Sea, a move that could set the tone for its enhanced bilateral relations with many countries.

With the participation of some 45 countries in Aman-2021 from February 11-16, including the US, Russia, China, and Turkey, the drill – a biannual affair since 2007 – began with a flag-raising ceremony.

Significantly, this is the first time Russia has joined a military drill with NATO members in a decade. The last such time was in 2011, in the Bold Monarch 2011 exercise off the coast of Spain.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s Successful Test Of 2,750-kilometer Shaheen-III #Missile: It can reach the farthest points of #India specially the Nicobar & Andaman Islands in Bay of Bengal. Its successful tests and flights open up the possibility of #space exploration– OpEd https://www.eurasiareview.com/18022021-pakistans-successful-test-of-shaheen-iii-missile-achieving-full-spectrum-deterrence-oped/

Quite recently, in January 2021, Pakistan has conducted a successful flight test of Shaheen-III ballistic missile, capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional payloads. It was first tested in 2015 and said to have a range of 2,750 kilometers. This enables it to reach the farthest points of India specially the Nicobar and Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. These Islands hold great strategic significance for India since they are believed to provide assured land-based second-strike options to India.

Similarly, they are also critical for Indian missile testing. Shaheen-III is a medium-range surface-to-surface two staged solid fueled missile equipped with Post Separation Altitude Correction (PSAC) system. Being a solid-fueled missile enables rapid response capability and PSAC allows it to have better trajectory and accuracy with the capability to evade the deployed ballistic missile defence (BMD) systems. Moreover, it can be launched through “Transporter Erector Launcher (TELs), which can move and hide. This makes the launcher more survivable as compared to the fixed launchers. As of now, the missile has not been operationally deployed.

This particular test was conducted by Pakistan to evaluate the design and technical parameters of the Shaheen-III weapon system. Moreover, the Arabian Sea was the point of impact. It was reiterated by Pakistan after the successful test that Pakistan’s nuclear capability is India-centric and the objective of its strategic capability is only to deter “any aggression” against the “sovereignty of Pakistan”. Missile tests in South Asia are routinely exercised as both countries are improving their capabilities of delivery vehicles to maintain the credibility of their deterrence forces. Moreover, they serve the purpose of “signaling” and “readiness” of forces. Just last year, India has conducted 17 missile tests, amid its growing tensions at its northern borders while Pakistan conducted only two missile tests. However, to avoid inadvertent escalation and accidents both countries have the agreement on informing each other before missiles tests. Moreover, Pakistan believes in peaceful co-existence in the region.

Defence analysts believe that the Shaheen-III missile system’s development started in the early 2000s and initially, it was envisaged as a “Space Launch Vehicle (SLV). Therefore its successful tests and flights open up the possibility of space exploration for Pakistan as well. It is also believed that Ababeel, a Multiple Independently re-entry targeted Vehicle (MIRV) missile, is also compatible with the designs of Shaheen-III and II. Ababeel, a three-staged, solid-fueled, medium-range surface-to-surface missile was tested by Pakistan back in January 2017. Successful tests of the Shaheen-III missile system would likely enable Pakistan to acquire MIRV technology to maintain a credible deterrence force vis-à-vis India. To ensure the effectiveness and accuracy of different re-entry vehicles going in different directions, Pakistan has bought large-scale “optical tracking and measurement systems” from China. These systems would allow Pakistan to record high-resolution images of the whole process of missile launch till its impact (launch, stage separation, tail flame, re-entry, and impact).

Riaz Haq said...

US National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence’s (NSCAI) Report 2021:


America's two main adversaries are just as keenly aware of how AI supremacy could lead to battlefield supremacy and are making just as much investment into AI as the new NSCAI report recommends America does. In 2017, the Chinese government issued a statement that technological advances, including in AI, would make China the global leader by 2030. “By 2030, our country will reach a world-leading level in artificial intelligence theory, technology and application and become a principal world center for artificial intelligence innovation,” the CCP claimed. That same year, Russian President Vladimir Putin made similar comments, claiming that the path to global supremacy is paved with AI. “Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind,” Putin said. “It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.” Both Russia and China are developing their own unmanned combat aerial vehicles, and both have been accused of leveraging AI-powered cyberattacks or misinformation campaigns against the United States.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/39559/national-security-commission-warns-u-s-is-not-prepared-to-defend-or-compete-with-china-on-ai

https://www.nscai.gov/2021-final-report/

Riaz Haq said...

#PAF, #RSAF #USAF conclude multinational air exercise Aces Meet 2021-1 in #Pakistan. It included multiple missions across the airpower spectrum & offered near-realistic & role-oriented training to participants amidst #COVID19 #pandemic https://www.airforce-technology.com/news/paf-rsaf-and-usaf-conclude-aces-meet-2021-1/ via @DefenceTech_Mag

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has successfully completed the multinational air exercise Aces Meet 2021-1 at PAF base Mushaf.

The two-week long exercise saw active participation from the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF).

Addressing the participants involved in the exercise, PAF Base Mushaf air commodore Ali Naeem Zahoor said the exercise provided an opportunity to learn via ‘mutual sharing of experiences’.

ACES MEET 2021-1 included multiple missions across the airpower spectrum and offered near-realistic and role-oriented training to participating members even during the challenging situations due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Members of PAK, RSAF and USAF special forces performed several Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) missions during the exercise.

According to a statement posted on Radio Pakistan, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan air forces acted as observers for the drill.

The exercise included the employment of fighter jets from the air forces of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, as well as airborne early warning and control aircraft and military satellites.

The deployed assets helped improve coordination and harmony between the ground elements and air component.

Riaz Haq said...

China appears to be developing a stealth helicopter that analysts said on Monday is difficult to detect on radar, infrared sensors and human sight and hearing, judging from a model of the chopper recently revealed in a television report, with some speculating that it could be a stealthy variant of the Z-20 medium-lift utility chopper.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202105/1224980.shtml

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The model displayed many stealth characteristics, including a radar cross section-reducing aerodynamic design that could make it difficult to detect on radar systems, designs in its rotors that aim to reduce noise and make the enemies only hear it at close range when flying at low-altitude, upward-facing exhausts spread out on the back of the tail boom, and low-observable paint, Fu said.

Stealth helicopters are more difficult to spot, have higher chances of survival, and can better conduct assault and penetration missions, Fu said.

The report by thedrive.com also claimed that China got related technologies from espionage and data was from a US stealth Black Hawk helicopter which took part in the Bin Laden raid and was downed in Pakistan, but Fu said this accusation is groundless speculation.

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Stealthy Variant Of China's Z-20 Black Hawk Clone Emerges In Concept Model Form
This is our first look at China's own Stealth Hawk-like transport helicopter concept and they would have a leg-up in developing it thanks to Pakistan.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/40853/stealthy-variant-of-chinas-z-20-black-hawk-clone-emerges-in-concept-model-form

When the downed stealthy Black Hawk was demolished via an explosive charge at Bin Laden's Abbottabad compound, its tail, which was sitting high atop the wall that surrounds the residence, remained intact. We may have never known these helicopters even existed if it was destroyed. Pakistan subsequently carted off the tail, which was of an extremely exotic design, and used it as a geopolitical bargaining chip in the turbulent aftermath of the raid. It is known to have been closely examined by America's adversaries, namely by Pakistan's other top weapons provider, China. The tail was eventually returned to the U.S. after roughly three weeks of fiery diplomacy.

Riaz Haq said...

Does the advent of machine learning mean the classic methodology of hypothesise, predict and test has had its day?

by Laura Spinney

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/jan/09/are-we-witnessing-the-dawn-of-post-theory-science


Isaac Newton apocryphally discovered his second law – the one about gravity – after an apple fell on his head. Much experimentation and data analysis later, he realised there was a fundamental relationship between force, mass and acceleration. He formulated a theory to describe that relationship – one that could be expressed as an equation, F=ma – and used it to predict the behaviour of objects other than apples. His predictions turned out to be right (if not always precise enough for those who came later).

Contrast how science is increasingly done today. Facebook’s machine learning tools predict your preferences better than any psychologist. AlphaFold, a program built by DeepMind, has produced the most accurate predictions yet of protein structures based on the amino acids they contain. Both are completely silent on why they work: why you prefer this or that information; why this sequence generates that structure.

You can’t lift a curtain and peer into the mechanism. They offer up no explanation, no set of rules for converting this into that – no theory, in a word. They just work and do so well. We witness the social effects of Facebook’s predictions daily. AlphaFold has yet to make its impact felt, but many are convinced it will change medicine.

Somewhere between Newton and Mark Zuckerberg, theory took a back seat. In 2008, Chris Anderson, the then editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, predicted its demise. So much data had accumulated, he argued, and computers were already so much better than us at finding relationships within it, that our theories were being exposed for what they were – oversimplifications of reality. Soon, the old scientific method – hypothesise, predict, test – would be relegated to the dustbin of history. We’d stop looking for the causes of things and be satisfied with correlations.

With the benefit of hindsight, we can say that what Anderson saw is true (he wasn’t alone). The complexity that this wealth of data has revealed to us cannot be captured by theory as traditionally understood. “We have leapfrogged over our ability to even write the theories that are going to be useful for description,” says computational neuroscientist Peter Dayan, director of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany. “We don’t even know what they would look like.”

But Anderson’s prediction of the end of theory looks to have been premature – or maybe his thesis was itself an oversimplification. There are several reasons why theory refuses to die, despite the successes of such theory-free prediction engines as Facebook and AlphaFold. All are illuminating, because they force us to ask: what’s the best way to acquire knowledge and where does science go from here?

The first reason is that we’ve realised that artificial intelligences (AIs), particularly a form of machine learning called neural networks, which learn from data without having to be fed explicit instructions, are themselves fallible. Think of the prejudice that has been documented in Google’s search engines and Amazon’s hiring tools.

The second is that humans turn out to be deeply uncomfortable with theory-free science. We don’t like dealing with a black box – we want to know why.

And third, there may still be plenty of theory of the traditional kind – that is, graspable by humans – that usefully explains much but has yet to be uncovered.

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In 2022, therefore, there is almost no stage of the scientific process where AI hasn’t left its footprint. And the more we draw it into our quest for knowledge, the more it changes that quest. We’ll have to learn to live with that, but we can reassure ourselves about one thing: we’re still asking the questions. As Pablo Picasso put it in the 1960s, “computers are useless. They can only give you answers.”

Riaz Haq said...

Book Review | Book of Reckoning
October 12, 2022 forceindia 0 Comment
A tour de force of South Asia’s military, tech and strategic dynamics
Andrew Korybko


https://forceindia.net/book-of-reckoning/

Pravin Sawhney’s The Last War: How AI Will Shape India’s Final Showdown With China is the most detailed and up-to-date work about South Asia’s military, technological, and strategic dynamics. The author compellingly argues that India is far behind China as a result of mistakenly prioritizing Pakistan as its top security threat. By disproportionately focusing on the western vector of its national security interests, including countering related unconventional threats, Delhi is unprepared to adequately address newfound challenges along the northern one that are much more conventional in nature.

The summer 2020 clashes over the Galwan river valley should have served as a belated wake-up call, but they failed to be interpreted properly according to Sawhney, who provides evidence proving that decisionmakers continue to misperceive everything connected to China. He’s particularly concerned that his homeland might not be able to catch up with the cutting-edge challenges posed by China’s unprecedented military modernisation, which comprises the bulk of his book. It’s here where the author showcases his unparalleled expertise on military, technological, and strategic dynamics.

The Last War opens dramatically with the scenario of a Chinese sneak attack on India that includes cyberattacks, robot invasions, and swarms of miniature assassination drones, among other aspects. This captivates the reader’s imagination since they’re immediately intrigued to learn more about how Sawhney arrived at this particular vision of the future. He then proceeds to describe these two Great Powers’ polar opposite security paradigms, military modernisation programmes, and points of friction. Plenty of insight is shared about Pakistan and the US too, which helps complete the picture.

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Upon learning how far India is behind China, it becomes clear to the reader that the former is at risk of sleepwalking into a disaster of epic proportions unless it urgently changes course to correct the trajectory that it’s on. Fundamental to the author’s scenario forecast is his concern that Delhi is too distracted by Pakistan to appreciate the full-spectrum paradigm-changing challenges posed by China. Furthermore, he argues that its armed forces don’t coordinate at the level required to effectively address this, nor does its political leadership have a proper understanding of technological trends.

Sawhney is also suspicious of the US’ influence over India, which he very strongly suggests is aimed at exploiting it as a proxy against China, one that Washington will inevitably hang out to dry once the going gets tough for Delhi in the event of a serious conflict with Beijing. It’s this patriotic motivation that drove him to elaborate on everything as extensively as he did, which includes very sharp critiques of India’s institutions. Readers should always remember this so as not to be put off by some of what he wrote, which for as ‘politically inconvenient’ as it might be for some, is fully cited and thus credible.



Riaz Haq said...

China-Pakistan Digital Corridor to enhance cooperation in IT sector: Pakistani Ambassador--China Economic Net

http://en.ce.cn/Insight/202210/21/t20221021_38186192.shtml


BEIJING, Oct 21 (China Economic Net) – Pakistan and China have agreed to launch three new corridors, including the China-Pakistan Digital Corridor that would help enhancing cooperation in different fields of I.T, said Pakistan's Ambassador to China, Moin ul Haque, in an interview with China Economic Net (CEN).

Moin ul Haque told CEN that Pakistan has a rich repertoire of talent and human resources in different fields of science and technology and IT-based science and technology have become very important for Pakistan.

"We would be an important source of help for China in terms of software development. So, we are working together to set up training centres in Pakistan for developing software in different fields of IT", he stated.

He further said that the two countries recently agreed to launch three new corridors: the China-Pakistan Green Corridor, which will focus on the agricultural environment, food security, and green development, the China-Pakistan Health Corridor which will help Pakistan get efficiency in the medical field, and then the China-Pakistan Digital Corridor which will boost Pakistan's IT industry.

Ammar Jaffri Former Additional Director General FIA and Founder of Digital Pakistan said that emerging technologies have now become a lifeline for the achievement of The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) & targets.

"We are aiming to organise an international conference about artificial intelligence on 23rd March 2023 in which local and foreign enterprises would participate and we would take strategic decisions to engage the government of Pakistan, and international organisations in our mega projects", he mentioned.

He further said that AI in areas of cyber security, SDGs, and emerging technologies is a much-needed zone where Pakistan has to work with China while Pakistan has a young population advantage in the region.

Riaz Haq said...

During a seminar titled ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Defence Market: A Paradigm Shift in Military Strategy and National Security’ as part of IDEAS-22, artificial intelligence (AI) experts underscored the essential role of universities to keep Pakistan abreast with advancements in this field.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2386761/one-network-catches-the-eye-at-ideas-22

The seminar was orgnaised by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad, and the Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO), where Minister for Defence Production Israr Tareen was the chief guest, said a press release issued here.

Addressing the seminar, Tareen acknowledged the country’s progress in the industrial and defence sectors, driven by the AI and machine learning (ML). He also underscored the role of academia, research scholars, and data-savvy individuals in the development process.

“Pakistan can become a global hub for AI, data science, cloud-native computing, edge computing, block-chain, augmented reality, and the IoT by reshaping and revolutionising education, businesses, and research through adoption of cutting-edge technologies and the AI-driven applications,” he said.

He emphasised that the country’s talented youth should be provided opportunities in the field of the AI and the Fourth Industrial Revolution [Industry 4.0] through initiatives like the Presidential Initiative for Artificial Intelligence and Computing (PIAIC).

“Apart from social, political, and economic changes, advanced technologies, 5G, and the AI have also changed the whole dynamics of contemporary warfare, battlefields, tactics, and strategies, the minister told the participants.

“With such strategic shifts, the concept of security has widened beyond conventional terms and rudimentary procedures to include sophisticated mechanisms and technology-driven procedures. These pose new challenges to the states,” he said.

IPS Chairman Khalid Rahman, who delivered the introductory remarks, highlighted the role of human intellect and research in the process of development. “In this regard, universities have served as the key platforms to set the pace for humanity in the key areas,” he said.

“The progress in AI will not stop and no country should stay behind in the AI development,” he emphasised. The role in AI progress is essentially played by universities, where research, creativity, and collaboration … can not only capitalise on the potentials of AI but also deal with the challenges.”

To meet the new complex security challenges of the 21st century, the other speakers presented their research papers, ideas, and findings on different AI-driven applications and processes, upon which the future international security dynamics depend.

Lt-Colonel Dr Ghulam Murtaza, Dr Yasar Ayaz, Dr Muhammad Tayab Ali, Maj Aon Safdar, Dr Waleed Bin Shahid, Lt-Col Usman Zia and Sqn-Ldr Javeria Farooq also addressed the seminar. The session was followed by a discussion by the panel.

Riaz Haq said...

THE IMPACT OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ON STRATEGIC STABILITY AND NUCLEAR RISK Volume III South Asian Perspectives edited by petr topychkanov April 2020

https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/2020-04/impact_of_ai_on_strategic_stability_and_nuclear_risk_vol_iii_topychkanov_1.pdf

The ongoing renaissance of artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the world. Just like many other developing countries, India and Pakistan—the two nuclear-armed states of South Asia—are exploring the subsequent opportunities for economic and social change. Their political leaders seem to prioritize civilian applications of AI over the military, and public attention reflects the political priorities. National efforts to militarize AI do not receive the same public coverage as civilian AI developments.

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It is clear from a comparative study of the state of adoption of AI in South Asia that India and Pakistan are playing catch-up in the world competition on military AI. Compared to the United States, China and Russia, India’s advances are modest, while Pakistan’s are even less visible. One of the reasons seems to be under-resourcing and inefficiencies in defence research and state industries. These prohibit the development and adoption of emerging technologies within a reasonable time frame. However, according to contributors from India and Pakistan, both countries are well aware of the strategic significance of AI. They see AI as one of many enablers of the mutual strategic balance. India must also take into consideration the role of AI in the military build-up of China, one of its long-term security concerns. In assessing the strategic significance of AI, the expert contributors—regardless of their origin—agree that AI is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, AI could enhance nuclear command and control, early warning, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), and the physical security of nuclear capabilities, among other areas. In this way it would improve states’ sense of security. On the other hand, the same advances could cast doubt on the survivability of their respective second-strike capabilities. This doubt would stimulate more aggressive nuclear postures that could increase nuclear risk.

There are several scenarios in which AI-enabled weapons could be involved in
escalatory dynamics in South Asia. Given that there have been few military applications of AI in either India or Pakistan, the contributors do not endorse the view
x the impact of AI on strategic stability and nuclear risk
that the use of AI systems could cause a nuclear war between India and Pakistan
or between India and China—at least for the foreseeable future. However, most
agree that the introduction of AI into the nuclear capabilities and postures of
India and Pakistan could affect strategic stability in South Asia. For this reason,
the majority of contributors support the idea that the states of South Asia should
take steps now to reduce the nuclear risk.
The question of how to design those steps is more divisive. For some, the solution
lies in the development of a legally binding international agreement that would
limit the military use of AI. Others argue that elaborating regional transparency
and confidence-building measures would be a more feasible option. A starting
point in their view would be to establish a regional dialogue on nuclear doctrines
and capabilities that would include a discussion on military AI. Given the success
of several track 2 dialogues on security between China, India and Pakistan, such
an initiative seems to be relatively realistic.

Riaz Haq said...

What is ChatGPT? The AI chatbot talked up as a potential Google killer
After all, the AI chatbot seems to be slaying a great deal of search engine responses.

https://interestingengineering.com/science/chatgpt-ai-chatbot-google-killer

ChatGPT is the latest and most impressive artificially intelligent chatbot yet. It was released two weeks ago, and in just five days hit a million users. It’s being used so much that its servers have reached capacity several times.

OpenAI, the company that developed it, is already being discussed as a potential Google slayer. Why look up something on a search engine when ChatGPT can write a whole paragraph explaining the answer? (There’s even a Chrome extension that lets you do both, side by side.)

But what if we never know the secret sauce behind ChatGPT’s capabilities?

The chatbot takes advantage of a number of technical advances published in the open scientific literature in the past couple of decades. But any innovations unique to it are secret. OpenAI could well be trying to build a technical and business moat to keep others out.

What it can (and can’t do)
ChatGPT is very capable. Want a haiku on chatbots? Sure.

How about a joke about chatbots? No problem.

ChatGPT can do many other tricks. It can write computer code to a user’s specifications, draft business letters or rental contracts, compose homework essays and even pass university exams.

Just as important is what ChatGPT can’t do. For instance, it struggles to distinguish between truth and falsehood. It is also often a persuasive liar.

ChatGPT is a bit like autocomplete on your phone. Your phone is trained on a dictionary of words so it completes words. ChatGPT is trained on pretty much all of the web, and can therefore complete whole sentences – or even whole paragraphs.

However, it doesn’t understand what it’s saying, just what words are most likely to come next.

Open only by name
In the past, advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have been accompanied by peer-reviewed literature.

In 2018, for example, when the Google Brain team developed the BERT neural network on which most natural language processing systems are now based (and we suspect ChatGPT is too), the methods were published in peer-reviewed scientific papers, and the code was open-sourced.

And in 2021, DeepMind’s AlphaFold 2, a protein-folding software, was Science’s Breakthrough of the Year. The software and its results were open-sourced so scientists everywhere could use them to advance biology and medicine.

Following the release of ChatGPT, we have only a short blog post describing how it works. There has been no hint of an accompanying scientific publication, or that the code will be open-sourced.

To understand why ChatGPT could be kept secret, you have to understand a little about the company behind it.

OpenAI is perhaps one of the oddest companies to emerge from Silicon Valley. It was set up as a non-profit in 2015 to promote and develop “friendly” AI in a way that “benefits humanity as a whole”. Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, and other leading tech figures pledged US$1 billion (dollars) towards its goals.

Their thinking was we couldn’t trust for-profit companies to develop increasingly capable AI that aligned with humanity’s prosperity. AI therefore needed to be developed by a non-profit and, as the name suggested, in an open way.

In 2019 OpenAI transitioned into a capped for-profit company (with investors limited to a maximum return of 100 times their investment) and took a US$1 billion(dollars) investment from Microsoft so it could scale and compete with the tech giants.

It seems money got in the way of OpenAI’s initial plans for openness.

Profiting from users
On top of this, OpenAI appears to be using feedback from users to filter out the fake answers ChatGPT hallucinates.

According to its blog, OpenAI initially used reinforcement learning in ChatGPT to downrank fake and/or problematic answers using a costly hand-constructed training set.

Riaz Haq said...

How the algorithm tipped the balance in Ukraine

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/12/19/palantir-algorithm-data-ukraine-war/

by David Ignatius

KYIV — Two Ukrainian military officers peer at a laptop computer operated by a Ukrainian technician using software provided by the American technology company Palantir. On the screen are detailed digital maps of the battlefield at Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, overlaid with other targeting intelligence — most of it obtained from commercial satellites.

As we lean closer, we see can jagged trenches on the Bakhmut front, where Russian and Ukrainian forces are separated by a few hundred yards in one of the bloodiest battles of the war. A click of the computer mouse displays thermal images of Russian and Ukrainian artillery fire; another click shows a Russian tank marked with a “Z,” seen through a picket fence, an image uploaded by a Ukrainian spy on the ground.

If this were a working combat operations center, rather than a demonstration for a visiting journalist, the Ukrainian officers could use a targeting program to select a missile, artillery piece or armed drone to attack the Russian positions displayed on the screen. Then drones could confirm the strike, and a damage assessment would be fed back into the system.

This is the “wizard war” in the Ukraine conflict — a secret digital campaign that has never been reported before in detail — and it’s a big reason David is beating Goliath here. The Ukrainians are fusing their courageous fighting spirit with the most advanced intelligence and battle-management software ever seen in combat.

“Tenacity, will and harnessing the latest technology give the Ukrainians a decisive advantage,” Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told me last week. “We are witnessing the ways wars will be fought, and won, for years to come.”

I think Milley is right about the transformational effect of technology on the Ukraine battlefield. And for me, here’s the bottom line: With these systems aiding brave Ukrainian troops, the Russians probably cannot win this war.

“The power of advanced algorithmic warfare systems is now so great that it equates to having tactical nuclear weapons against an adversary with only conventional ones,” explains Alex Karp, chief executive of Palantir, in an email message. “The general public tends to underestimate this. Our adversaries no longer do.”

“For us, it’s a matter of survival,” argues “Stepan,” the senior Ukrainian officer in the Kyiv demonstration, who before the war designed software for a retail company. Now, he tells me bluntly, “Our goal is to maximize target acquisitions.” To protect his identity, he stripped his unit insignia and other markings from his camouflage uniform before he demonstrated the technology. (The names he and his colleague used were not their real ones; I agreed to their request to protect their security.)

“Lesya,” the other officer, was also a computer specialist in peacetime. As she looks at the imagery of the Russian invaders, on a day when their drones are savaging civilian targets in Odessa on Ukraine’s southern coast, she mutters a wish for revenge — and a hope that Ukraine will emerge from the war as a tech power. Although the Ukrainians now depend on technology help from America, she says, “by the end of the war, we will be selling software to Palantir.”

Riaz Haq said...

How the algorithm tipped the balance in Ukraine

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/12/19/palantir-algorithm-data-ukraine-war/


A final essential link in this system is the mesh of broadband connectivity provided from overhead by Starlink’s array of roughly 2,500 satellites in low-earth orbit. The system, owned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, allows Ukrainian soldiers who want to upload intelligence or download targeting information to do so quickly.

In this wizard war, Ukraine has the upper hand. The Russians have tried to create their own electronic battlefield tools, too, but with little success. They have sought to use commercial satellite data, for example, and streaming videos from inexpensive Chinese drones. But they have had difficulty coordinating and sharing this data among units. And they lack the ability to connect with the Starlink array.

“The Russian army is not flexible,” Lesya, the Ukrainian officer, told me. She noted proudly that every Ukrainian battalion travels with its own software developer. Ukraine’s core advantage isn’t just the army’s will to fight, but also its technical prowess.

Fedorov, Ukraine’s digital minister, listed some of the military tech systems that Ukraine has created on its own, in a response to my written questions. These include a secure chat system, called “eVorog,” that has allowed civilians to provide 453,000 reports since the war started; a 200-strong “Army of Drones” purchased from commercial vendors for use in air reconnaissance; and a battlefield mapping system called Delta that “contains the actual data in real time, so the military can plan their actions accordingly.”


The “X factor” in this war, if you will, is this Ukrainian high-tech edge and the ability of its forces to adapt rapidly. “This is the most technologically advanced war in human history,” argues Fedorov. “It’s quite different from everything that has been seen before.”

And that’s the central fact of the extraordinary drama the world has been watching since Russia invaded so recklessly last February. This is a triumph of man and machine, together.

Next: How “algorithmic warfare” evolved over the past decade — and some very human worries.

Riaz Haq said...

Why do your homework when a chatbot can do it for you? A new artificial intelligence tool called ChatGPT has thrilled the Internet with its superhuman abilities to solve math problems, churn out college essays and write research papers.

https://www.npr.org/2022/12/19/1143912956/chatgpt-ai-chatbot-homework-academia

After the developer OpenAI released the text-based system to the public last month, some educators have been sounding the alarm about the potential that such AI systems have to transform academia, for better and worse.

"AI has basically ruined homework," said Ethan Mollick, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, on Twitter.

The tool has been an instant hit among many of his students, he told NPR in an interview on Morning Edition, with its most immediately obvious use being a way to cheat by plagiarizing the AI-written work, he said.

Academic fraud aside, Mollick also sees its benefits as a learning companion.

He's used it as his own teacher's assistant, for help with crafting a syllabus, lecture, an assignment and a grading rubric for MBA students.

"You can paste in entire academic papers and ask it to summarize it. You can ask it to find an error in your code and correct it and tell you why you got it wrong," he said. "It's this multiplier of ability, that I think we are not quite getting our heads around, that is absolutely stunning," he said.

A convincing — yet untrustworthy — bot
But the superhuman virtual assistant — like any emerging AI tech — has its limitations. ChatGPT was created by humans, after all. OpenAI has trained the tool using a large dataset of real human conversations.

"The best way to think about this is you are chatting with an omniscient, eager-to-please intern who sometimes lies to you," Mollick said.

It lies with confidence, too. Despite its authoritative tone, there have been instances in which ChatGPT won't tell you when it doesn't have the answer.

That's what Teresa Kubacka, a data scientist based in Zurich, Switzerland, found when she experimented with the language model. Kubacka, who studied physics for her Ph.D., tested the tool by asking it about a made-up physical phenomenon.

"I deliberately asked it about something that I thought that I know doesn't exist so that they can judge whether it actually also has the notion of what exists and what doesn't exist," she said.

ChatGPT produced an answer so specific and plausible sounding, backed with citations, she said, that she had to investigate whether the fake phenomenon, "a cycloidal inverted electromagnon," was actually real.

When she looked closer, the alleged source material was also bogus, she said. There were names of well-known physics experts listed – the titles of the publications they supposedly authored, however, were non-existent, she said.

"This is where it becomes kind of dangerous," Kubacka said. "The moment that you cannot trust the references, it also kind of erodes the trust in citing science whatsoever," she said.

Scientists call these fake generations "hallucinations."

"There are still many cases where you ask it a question and it'll give you a very impressive-sounding answer that's just dead wrong," said Oren Etzioni, the founding CEO of the Allen Institute for AI, who ran the research nonprofit until recently. "And, of course, that's a problem if you don't carefully verify or corroborate its facts."

Riaz Haq said...

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a trending buzzword for some time. It’s a term commonly used for machines, computer-controlled robots, and software systems performing intelligent tasks such as learning, planning, reasoning, and interacting – simulating the natural intelligence displayed by humans and animals.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2366462/artificial-intelligence-in-pakistan

Usually, when people think about AI, they associate it with human-like robots taking over the world, as depicted in Hollywood movies like I, Robot, Ex Machina, and Westworld, to name a few.

Those films portray a highly advanced version of AI, formally known as Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), which is currently close to impossible. Unlike Hollywood, AI today focuses on narrow problems, such as autonomous driving, stock prediction, virtual assistants, and solving impactful real-world problems.

Most of the fundamental AI concepts have existed for many decades. The term “AI” was coined in 1956 by Stanford computer scientist John McCarthy.

The past decade, however, has shown unprecedented growth in the development of AI technologies – mainly unlocked by the availability of compute power, the enormous amount of training data made available by the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and the decrease in cloud storage and computing costs.

As a result, AI technologies are already revolutionising most industries, businesses, and lifestyles.

We have sophisticated smart assistants such as Siri on our phones, self-driving cars are closer to becoming a part of our everyday lives, robots help farmers protect their crops from weeds by monitoring and spraying weedicide on plants, AI models can paint and generate images from text, and AI systems are already assisting doctors in the early detection of diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular and neurological disorders.

The global AI software industry is growing rapidly. Statista reports that it is expected to reach $126 billion by 2025. It is considered an engine of economic growth and the next big disruptor.

Many countries have developed dedicated AI frameworks and policies to facilitate education programmes and research and development (R&D) centres to forward technological advancements and economic growth.

Examples include China’s “Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan,” the US executive order on “AI leadership,” and “AI Made in Germany”, to name only a few. Pakistan must follow suit and invest in programmes to promote youths’ enthusiasm about AI and modern technologies. This means investing in education programmes, research centres, and industry readiness training programmes.

After all, Pakistan has great potential in AI, with its scope ranging from solving local problems in agriculture, governance, climate change, and manufacturing, to creating tech unicorns and services companies specialising in hi-tech/ AI software exports.

In fact, a few research labs, companies, and startups are already making strides in the AI space and contributing to the global tech ecosystem. For example, a group of professors at Information Technology University (ITU) Lahore are solving impactful problems and publishing their research at top-tier AI conferences.

One of the most exciting works from their Intelligent Machines Lab is an economic indicators predictor that uses satellite and aerial imagery. They are developing computer vision/ AI tech that examines a satellite image and responds with a poverty estimate for an area, providing government and policymakers the data to make informed decisions.

The National Centre of Artificial Intelligence (NCAI) is a technological initiative established by the government of Pakistan in 2018.

It aims to become a leading hub of innovation, scientific research, knowledge transfer to the local economy, and training in the area of AI and its closely affiliated fields. It consists of nine research labs from six universities in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a trending buzzword for some time. It’s a term commonly used for machines, computer-controlled robots, and software systems performing intelligent tasks such as learning, planning, reasoning, and interacting – simulating the natural intelligence displayed by humans and animals.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2366462/artificial-intelligence-in-pakistan

Usually, when people think about AI, they associate it with human-like robots taking over the world, as depicted in Hollywood movies like I, Robot, Ex Machina, and Westworld, to name a few.

Those films portray a highly advanced version of AI, formally known as Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), which is currently close to impossible. Unlike Hollywood, AI today focuses on narrow problems, such as autonomous driving, stock prediction, virtual assistants, and solving impactful real-world problems.

Most of the fundamental AI concepts have existed for many decades. The term “AI” was coined in 1956 by Stanford computer scientist John McCarthy.

The past decade, however, has shown unprecedented growth in the development of AI technologies – mainly unlocked by the availability of compute power, the enormous amount of training data made available by the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and the decrease in cloud storage and computing costs.

As a result, AI technologies are already revolutionising most industries, businesses, and lifestyles.

We have sophisticated smart assistants such as Siri on our phones, self-driving cars are closer to becoming a part of our everyday lives, robots help farmers protect their crops from weeds by monitoring and spraying weedicide on plants, AI models can paint and generate images from text, and AI systems are already assisting doctors in the early detection of diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular and neurological disorders.

The global AI software industry is growing rapidly. Statista reports that it is expected to reach $126 billion by 2025. It is considered an engine of economic growth and the next big disruptor.

Many countries have developed dedicated AI frameworks and policies to facilitate education programmes and research and development (R&D) centres to forward technological advancements and economic growth.

Examples include China’s “Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan,” the US executive order on “AI leadership,” and “AI Made in Germany”, to name only a few. Pakistan must follow suit and invest in programmes to promote youths’ enthusiasm about AI and modern technologies. This means investing in education programmes, research centres, and industry readiness training programmes.

After all, Pakistan has great potential in AI, with its scope ranging from solving local problems in agriculture, governance, climate change, and manufacturing, to creating tech unicorns and services companies specialising in hi-tech/ AI software exports.

In fact, a few research labs, companies, and startups are already making strides in the AI space and contributing to the global tech ecosystem. For example, a group of professors at Information Technology University (ITU) Lahore are solving impactful problems and publishing their research at top-tier AI conferences.

One of the most exciting works from their Intelligent Machines Lab is an economic indicators predictor that uses satellite and aerial imagery. They are developing computer vision/ AI tech that examines a satellite image and responds with a poverty estimate for an area, providing government and policymakers the data to make informed decisions.

The National Centre of Artificial Intelligence (NCAI) is a technological initiative established by the government of Pakistan in 2018.

It aims to become a leading hub of innovation, scientific research, knowledge transfer to the local economy, and training in the area of AI and its closely affiliated fields. It consists of nine research labs from six universities in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

While healthcare is in the midst of a digital revolution - Artificial Intelligence has been at the forefront of it. Previously, CT scans, MRIs and many other health records were benefitting from Artificial Intelligence. However, dentistry will provide patients with a first-hand experience with AI. The ability of computers to interpret x-rays with greater diagnostic accuracy, efficient access to data and enhanced management are some of the courses AI has taken in dentistry.

https://www.dentalnewspk.com/02-Sep-2022/implications-of-artificial-intelligence-in-dentistry

Dental disease prediction is another great tool which allows the dentist to evaluate oral conditions. These predictions help dentists to come up with treatment modalities before the onset of the disease resulting in a customised treatment approach for the patients.

Machine learning algorithms also proved to outperform dentists in diagnosing tooth decay or predicting whether a tooth should be extracted, retained, or have restorative treatment.

"AI is not responsible for the dental examination and does not reach decisions on the treatment. However, dentalXrai Pro raises dentistry to a standardized, high-quality level and immensely speeds up the analysis of X-rays, so that dentists can use the time more effectively for talking to patients." Says the co-founder of dentalXrai.

Applications Of Artificial Intelligence In Dentistry
While AI is expanding its influence on patient care and dental practices. Here are three different ways dentistry is making use of AI.

1. Dental Data Analytics
The data analytics tools allow a thorough evaluation of your dental setting while providing tools to manage and monitor your services. These tools help the dentist tread the line between patient care and business setting making communication and patient dealing easier.

2. Oral Health & General Health
AI can help bridge the gap between patient oral health and systemic health while allowing thorough evaluation of oral conditions and their implications on systemic health. The data-based evaluation allows analysis and treatment planning as it alerts the patients to certain susceptibilities in their dental/overall health.

3. Communication & Treatment Modalities
The multiple layers of applications offered by AI also include integrated imaging technology to gain deeper details about the diagnostic data. These details are used for assistance and treatment planning. AI has also transformed surgeries via robotic capabilities which can be applied under the guidance of an expert surgeon.

Overjet CEO, Wardah Inam, articulated some of the advantages of using AI in dentistry. According to her, the applications can be divided into three broad categories.

Practice, Diagnostic and a Managerial level.

"How do you communicate with the patient better in terms of their diseases and such that they’re more informed about their diseases as well.” - Practice

"Being able to provide a more comprehensive diagnosis where things that might have been missed previously or might not be on their radar, those aspects can be brought to them at the right time, while the patient is in the chair and their data is analyzed.” - Diagnostic.



"Right now for the first time ever, you can actually monitor and track your clinical performance. So you’re looking at how your practices are doing clinically rather than just financially. That helps to determine how you can improve that performance and where the risks and opportunities are.” With “what is possible” in mind, let’s explore some leading applications of AI in dentistry that you can use now." - Managerial

Riaz Haq said...

Money and Empire: Charles P. Kindleberger and the Dollar System

By Perry Mehrling

https://www.bu.edu/gdp/2022/11/08/money-and-empire-charles-p-kindleberger-and-the-dollar-system/

Charles P. Kindleberger ranks as one of the 20th century’s best known and most influential international economists. A professor of International Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1948-1976, he taught cosmopolitanism to a world riven with nationalist instinct. He worked to relieve the fears of his fellow citizens through education, thinking that if people understood how the dollar system worked, they would stop trying to destroy it. His research at the New York Federal Reserve and Bank for International Settlements during the Great Depression, his wartime intelligence work and his role in administering the Marshall Plan gave him deep insight into how the international financial system really operated.

In the new book, “Money and Empire: Charles P. Kindleberger and the Dollar System,” Perry Mehrling traces the evolution of Kindleberger’s thinking in the context of a “key-currency” approach to the rise of the dollar system, which he argues is an indispensable framework for global economic development in the post-World War II era. The overall arc of the book follows the transformation of the dollar system, as seen through the eyes of Kindleberger.

The book charts Kindleberger’s intellectual formation and his evolution as an international economist and historical economist. As a biography of both the dollar and Kindleberger, this book is also the story of the development of ideas about how money works. In telling this story, Mehrling ultimately sheds light on the underlying economic forces and political obstacles shaping a globalized world.

Riaz Haq said...

Top Artificial Intelligence Companies in Pakistan

https://clutch.co/pk/developers/artificial-intelligence

Riaz Haq said...

A Threshold Alliance: The China-Pakistan Military Relationship
Wednesday, March 22, 2023 / BY: Sameer P. Lalwani, Ph.D.


https://www.usip.org/publications/2023/03/threshold-alliance-china-pakistan-military-relationship

Geopolitical shifts in South Asia over the past decade, driven by sharper US-China competition, a precipitous decline in China-India relations, and the 2021 withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, have pushed the Chinese and Pakistani militaries closer together. The countries’ armies and navies are increasingly sharing equipment, engaging in more sophisticated joint exercises, and interacting more closely through staff and officer exchanges. Yet, as this report concludes, a full China-Pakistan alliance is not inevitable, as Chinese missteps and other sources of friction could slow its consummation.


Summary
Despite China’s eschewal of formal alliances, the China-Pakistan military partnership has deepened significantly over the past decade, approaching a threshold alliance. The trajectory toward a military alliance is not, however, inevitable.
China is Pakistan’s most important defense partner since the end of the Cold War. Beijing has become the leading supplier of Pakistan’s conventional weapons and strategic platforms and the dominant supplier of Pakistan’s higher-end offensive strike capabilities.
China’s military diplomacy with Pakistan quantitatively and qualitatively rivals its military partnership with Russia. China and Pakistan have accelerated the tempo of joint military exercises, which are growing in complexity and interoperability. Increasingly compatible arms supply chains and networked communications systems could allow the countries to aggregate their defense capabilities.
The prospects for China projecting military power over the Indian Ocean from Pakistan’s Western coast are growing. Chinese basing has meaningful support within Pakistan’s strategic circles. The material and political obstacles to upgrading naval access into wartime contingency basing appear to be surmountable and diminishing over time.

Riaz Haq said...

The ChatGPT King Isn’t Worried, but He Knows You Might Be

https://www.opindia.com/2023/02/chahat-fateh-ali-khan-the-latest-viral-sensation-from-poverty-stricken-pakistan-taher-shah-mankind-angel/


By Cade Metz

Sam Altman sees the pros and cons of totally changing the world as we know it. And if he does make human intelligence useless, he has a plan to fix it.

I first met Sam Altman in the summer of 2019, days after Microsoft agreed to invest $1 billion in his three-year-old start-up, OpenAI. At his suggestion, we had dinner at a small, decidedly modern restaurant not far from his home in San Francisco.

Halfway through the meal, he held up his iPhone so I could see the contract he had spent the last several months negotiating with one of the world’s largest tech companies. It said Microsoft’s billion-dollar investment would help OpenAI build what was called artificial general intelligence, or A.G.I., a machine that could do anything the human brain could do.

Later, as Mr. Altman sipped a sweet wine in lieu of dessert, he compared his company to the Manhattan Project. As if he were chatting about tomorrow’s weather forecast, he said the U.S. effort to build an atomic bomb during the Second World War had been a “project on the scale of OpenAI — the level of ambition we aspire to.”

He believed A.G.I. would bring the world prosperity and wealth like no one had ever seen. He also worried that the technologies his company was building could cause serious harm — spreading disinformation, undercutting the job market. Or even destroying the world as we know it.


---------------

Mr. Altman argues that rather than developing and testing the technology entirely behind closed doors before releasing it in full, it is safer to gradually share it so everyone can better understand risks and how to handle them.

He told me that it would be a “very slow takeoff.”

When I asked Mr. Altman if a machine that could do anything the human brain could do would eventually drive the price of human labor to zero, he demurred. He said he could not imagine a world where human intelligence was useless.

If he’s wrong, he thinks he can make it up to humanity.

He rebuilt OpenAI as what he called a capped-profit company. This allowed him to pursue billions of dollars in financing by promising a profit to investors like Microsoft. But these profits are capped, and any additional revenue will be pumped back into the OpenAI nonprofit that was founded back in 2015.

His grand idea is that OpenAI will capture much of the world’s wealth through the creation of A.G.I. and then redistribute this wealth to the people. In Napa, as we sat chatting beside the lake at the heart of his ranch, he tossed out several figures — $100 billion, $1 trillion, $100 trillion.

If A.G.I. does create all that wealth, he is not sure how the company will redistribute it. Money could mean something very different in this new world.

But as he once told me: “I feel like the A.G.I. can help with that.”

Riaz Haq said...

#China Defense Minister Wants to ‘deepen and expand’ #military ties with #Pakistan for mutual interests and to jointly protect regional #peace and #stability. “China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners and close friends...no matter how the international situation changes, China always gives Pakistan priority" https://aje.io/78u6aw via @AJEnglish

China says it will work with Pakistan’s military to “further deepen and expand” the two nations’ mutual interests and jointly protect regional peace and stability.

A statement by the Chinese defence ministry on Wednesday said Zhang Youxia, the vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, made the comments during his meeting with Pakistan’s army chief, General Syed Asim Munir, who is on his maiden visit to Beijing.

“Noting that China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners and close friends, Zhang said that no matter how the international situation changes, China always gives Pakistan priority in its neighbourhood diplomacy,” said the statement.

Another statement released by the Pakistan army’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said Munir was given a warm welcome and presented with a guard of honour upon his arrival at the People’s Liberation Army headquarters in Beijing on Wednesday.

“Matters of mutual security interests and military cooperation were discussed. Both military commanders reiterated the need for maintaining peace and stability in the region and enhancing military to military cooperation,” the Pakistani statement said.

The ISPR said Munir will hold further meetings with military officials in China to enhance the “longstanding relations between the two militaries” during his four-day visit.

Muhammad Faisal, an Islamabad-based foreign policy analyst and close observer of Pakistan-China ties, told Al Jazeera Munir’s visit is crucial as it comes amid political, economic and security crises in Pakistan.

“Of late, Pakistan’s dependency on China for economic stability and regional security coordination has grown in the face of financial challenges, renewed threat of terrorism and India-centric challenges,” he said.

Pakistan and China have ongoing border disputes with India, threatening regional security.

Munir’s predecessor General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited China two months before his retirement in November last year. That month also saw Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif making a trip to Beijing and meeting President Xi Jinping.

China has invested $60bn in the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and is Pakistan’s key economic and defence partner.


The South Asian country owes nearly $30bn – 23 percent of its total debt – to China.

As Islamabad struggles to resume a much-needed $1.1bn loan programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it has sought help from its allies, mainly China, to roll over some of its existing loans.

Analyst Faisal said while the Pakistani military remains engaged with China on regional security, economy has also taken over as a central agenda in the meetings between the military commanders of the two nations.

“This is a new development and indicates that Chinese military is closely following Pakistan’s economic challenges,” he told Al Jazeera.

As China continues to help Pakistan economically, the last few years saw multiple attacks on Chinese nationals and facilities carried out by the armed groups in Pakistan.

Earlier this month, a Chinese national working at a hydropower plant being constructed by a Chinese company in northern Pakistan was accused of blasphemy – a sensitive issue in Muslim-majority Pakistan.

The Chinese man is currently in a two-week judicial custody which ends on May 2.

Two years ago, 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals working at the same hydropower project, were killed in an attack claimed by the Pakistan Taliban, known by the acronym TTP.

Riaz Haq said...

The Godfather of #AI Leaves #Google, Warns of #Danger Ahead. “It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things”. Google bought a company started by Dr. Hinton that led to creation #ChatGPT & Google #Bard. #technology
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/01/technology/ai-google-chatbot-engineer-quits-hinton.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare


In the 1980s, Dr. Hinton was a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, but left the university for Canada because he said he was reluctant to take Pentagon funding. At the time, most A.I. research in the United States was funded by the Defense Department. Dr. Hinton is deeply opposed to the use of artificial intelligence on the battlefield — what he calls “robot soldiers.”

In 2012, Dr. Hinton and two of his students in Toronto, Ilya Sutskever and Alex Krishevsky, built a neural network that could analyze thousands of photos and teach itself to identify common objects, such as flowers, dogs and cars.


Google spent $44 million to acquire a company started by Dr. Hinton and his two students. And their system led to the creation of increasingly powerful technologies, including new chatbots like ChatGPT and Google Bard. Mr. Sutskever went on to become chief scientist at OpenAI. In 2018, Dr. Hinton and two other longtime collaborators received the Turing Award, often called “the Nobel Prize of computing,” for their work on neural networks.

Around the same time, Google, OpenAI and other companies began building neural networks that learned from huge amounts of digital text. Dr. Hinton thought it was a powerful way for machines to understand and generate language, but it was inferior to the way humans handled language.

Then, last year, as Google and OpenAI built systems using much larger amounts of data, his view changed. He still believed the systems were inferior to the human brain in some ways but he thought they were eclipsing human intelligence in others. “Maybe what is going on in these systems,” he said, “is actually a lot better than what is going on in the brain.”

As companies improve their A.I. systems, he believes, they become increasingly dangerous. “Look at how it was five years ago and how it is now,” he said of A.I. technology. “Take the difference and propagate it forwards. That’s scary.”

Until last year, he said, Google acted as a “proper steward” for the technology, careful not to release something that might cause harm. But now that Microsoft has augmented its Bing search engine with a chatbot — challenging Google’s core business — Google is racing to deploy the same kind of technology. The tech giants are locked in a competition that might be impossible to stop, Dr. Hinton said.

His immediate concern is that the internet will be flooded with false photos, videos and text, and the average person will “not be able to know what is true anymore.”

He is also worried that A.I. technologies will in time upend the job market. Today, chatbots like ChatGPT tend to complement human workers, but they could replace paralegals, personal assistants, translators and others who handle rote tasks. “It takes away the drudge work,” he said. “It might take away more than that.”

Down the road, he is worried that future versions of the technology pose a threat to humanity because they often learn unexpected behavior from the vast amounts of data they analyze. This becomes an issue, he said, as individuals and companies allow A.I. systems not only to generate their own computer code but actually run that code on their own. And he fears a day when truly autonomous weapons — those killer robots — become reality.

“The idea that this stuff could actually get smarter than people — a few people believed that,” he said. “But most people thought it was way off. And I thought it was way off. I thought it was 30 to 50 years or even longer away. Obviously, I no longer think that.”

Riaz Haq said...

Factbox: Governments race to regulate AI tools

https://www.reuters.com/technology/governments-efforts-regulate-ai-tools-2023-04-12/

April 14 (Reuters) - Rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) such as Microsoft-backed OpenAI's ChatGPT are complicating governments' efforts to agree laws governing the use of the technology.

Here are the latest steps national and international governing bodies are taking to regulate AI tools:

AUSTRALIA
* Seeking input on regulations

The government is consulting Australia's main science advisory body and is considering next steps, a spokesperson for the industry and science minister said in April.

BRITAIN
* Planning regulations

Britain's competition regulator said on Thursday it would start examining the impact of AI on consumers, businesses and the economy and whether new controls were needed.

Britain said in March it planned to split responsibility for governing AI between its regulators for human rights, health and safety, and competition, rather than creating a new body.

CHINA
* Planning regulations

China's cyberspace regulator in April unveiled draft measures to manage generative AI services, saying it wanted firms to submit security assessments to authorities before they launch offerings to the public.

Beijing will support leading enterprises in building AI models that can challenge ChatGPT, its economy and information technology bureau said in February.

EUROPEAN UNION
* Planning regulations

Members of the European Parliament reached a preliminary deal on the draft of the EU's Artificial Intelligence Act, that could pave the way for the world's first comprehensive laws governing the technology.

The draft, which will be voted by a committee of lawmakers on May 11, identified copyright protection as central to the effort to keep AI in check.

Members of European Parliament raced to update the rules to catch up with an explosion of interest in generative AI, Reuters interviews with four lawmakers and two other sources found.

The European Data Protection Board, which unites Europe's national privacy watchdogs, said in April it had set up a task force on ChatGPT, a potentially important first step towards a common policy on setting privacy rules on AI. The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) has joined in the concern about ChatGPT and other AI chatbots, calling on EU consumer protection agencies to investigate the technology and the potential harm to individuals.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan aims to produce 1M AI-trained IT graduates by 2027

The policy framework showcases Pakistan’s willingness to integrate AI for public and national betterment. The country has set 15 targets with timelines ranging from 2023 to 2028.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/pakistan-aims-to-produce-1-million-ai-trained-it-graduates-by-2027


Just days after announcing that cryptocurrencies will “never be legalized” in the country, Pakistan’s Ministry of IT & Telecom drafted a policy to spur the growth of artificial intelligence.


With the national AI policy, Pakistan aims to evolve into a knowledge-based economy by upskilling human capital on AI and allied technologies, among other investments and initiatives.

The policy framework showcases Pakistan’s willingness to integrate AI for public and national betterment. The country has set 15 targets with timelines ranging from 2023 to 2028. To support these initiatives, Pakistan intends to establish a National AI Fund by using the Ministry of IT & Telecom’s “underutilized resources and funds.”

b533606e-360f-4833-b764-47aa2bc4901c.png

A snippet of Pakistan's national AI policy draft. Source: Ministry of IT & Telecom
Some of the intended use cases for AI in Pakistan include predicting the weather, agriculture supply chain optimization and health services transformation, to name a few.

The Pakistani government has taken an inclusive approach toward building AI policies as it remains open to feedback from the general public until June 16.

The primary reason for Pakistan’s ban on cryptocurrencies was due to the requirements set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). In return, the country remains excluded from FATF’s gray list.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, while FATF does not have the authority to impose sanctions on non-compliant countries, it can likely influence government and corporate policies worldwide.

By complying with FATF, Pakistan holds a higher possibility of getting a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

Riaz Haq said...

In terms of number of AI (Artificial Intelligence) research publications from 2016-2020, China tops with 76,300 papers followed by US second with 44,400, India ranks 3rd with 27,000. Pakistan ranks 28th with 2,600 papers.


https://www.statista.com/statistics/939627/ai-publications-worldwide-by-country/

Riaz Haq said...

In a first, Pakistan sets up task force for ‘accelerated adoption’ of AI

https://www.arabnews.pk/node/2286746/pakistan


Key objective of task force is to develop roadmap for AI adoption in several government institutions
Minister says AI integration in governance, health care, education systems will revolutionize sectors
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government has formed a national task force to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in different sectors, including business, development, governance, education, and health care, the Pakistani planning ministry said on Friday.

Governments as well as private sectors across the world are reaping exceptional benefits by integrating AI into their day-to-day functions. Global technology company, Intel, says that artificial intelligence can help companies and government institutions work efficiently, manage costs, and improve research, among other benefits.

The incorporation of AI in different government sectors will lead to improved decision-making processes, personalized medical treatments, and enhanced learning experiences and solutions that were previously unattainable, according to the planning ministry.

“Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal has formed a 15-member National Task Force (NTF) on Artificial Intelligence (IA) for the country’s national development,” the planning ministry said in a statement.

“The key objective of the (NTF) is to develop a 10-year roadmap for accelerated adoption of AI in the business, development, governance, education, and health care sectors. The NTF force will comprise experts in artificial intelligence as well as representatives from the government and private sectors.”

The planning minister emphasized the importance of artificial intelligence for progress in the near future and stated that it would bring “transformative changes” in the fields of economy, governance, and education, according to the statement.

The task force aims to harness the power of AI for Pakistan’s development and growth while ensuring that the benefits are accessible to all segments of society.

“Establishing the NTF on AI is part of the government’s commitment to embracing AI and its potential to transform the country’s economic landscape positively,” the statement quoted Iqbal as saying.

By investing in AI, Iqbal said, Pakistan could unlock new opportunities for growth and development and improve the lives of its citizens.

“The integration of AI in our governance, health care, and education systems has the potential to revolutionize these sectors and bring about significant progress,” he added.

Riaz Haq said...

US holds title for world's most powerful military, Pakistan ranks 7th, Where does India stand?

https://www.livemint.com/news/world/us-holds-title-for-worlds-most-powerful-military-pakistan-ranks-7th-where-does-india-stand-11689136456322.html

Pakistan has entered the top 10 of the most powerful militaries in the world, securing the seventh spot. Japan and France have dropped to eighth and ninth respectively. The United States, Russia, and China remain the top three.

According to Global Firepower, a prominent data website specializing in defence-related information, the United States possesses the most powerful military force worldwide.

Russia and China follow closely in second and third place, respectively, while India secures the fourth position. The recently released 2023 Military Strength list, which evaluates over 60 factors, also highlights nations with comparatively weaker military forces such as Bhutan and Iceland.

The assessment by Global Firepower takes into account various criteria, including the number of military units, financial resources, logistical capabilities, and geographical considerations, to determine each nation's overall score.

"Our unique, in-house formula allows for smaller (and) more technologically-advanced nations to compete with larger (and) lesser-developed powers… special modifiers, in the form of bonuses and penalties, are applied to further refine the list which is compiled annually. Trends do not necessarily indicate a declining power as changes to the GFP formula can also account for this."

The report lists 145 countries and also compares each nation's year-on-year ranking changes.

Here are the 10 nations with the most powerful militaries in the world:

United States

Russia

China

India

United Kingdom

South Korea

Pakistan

Japan

France

Italy

Here are the 10 nations with the least powerful militaries in the world:

Bhutan

Benin

Moldova

Somalia

Liberia

Suriname

Belize

Central African Republic

Iceland

Sierra Leone

The top four nations remain as they were in the 2022 Global Firepower list.

In a shift from the previous year's rankings, the United Kingdom has advanced from eighth to fifth place in terms of military strength. South Korea retains its sixth position from last year.

https://twitter.com/spectatorindex/status/1678023296833720322?s=20

Notably, Pakistan has entered the top 10, securing the seventh spot. Conversely, Japan and France, which held the fifth and seventh positions respectively last year, have dropped to eighth and ninth this year.

Despite ongoing conflicts and Russia's "special operation" invasion of Ukraine in February of the previous year, Russia maintains its second position. The rankings reflect the evolving dynamics and complexities of global military capabilities and highlight the continuous assessment of various factors influencing military strength.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian view of Pakistan Navy Modernization

https://thediplomat.com/2023/07/china-is-helping-modernize-the-pakistan-navy-what-does-that-mean-for-india/

by Guarav Sen

Pakistan has been proactively procuring technologically advanced naval vessels from China, headlined by a $5 billion deal signed in 2016 for Pakistan to acquire Yuan class Type 039/041 diesel submarines by 2028. Pakistan is all set to acquire eight such submarines from China, with four of them scheduled for delivery by the end of 2023. The first four subs are being built by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation; the other four will be built in Pakistan by Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works, further bolstering Pakistan’s indigenous capabilities.

These submarines are equipped with advanced sensors and modern armaments, which tilts the tactical power balance slightly in favor of Pakistan. These diesel attack submarines align with the Pakistan Navy’s offensive sea denial strategy, which prioritizes the use of submarines and missile-carrying maritime patrol aircraft in naval warfare.

Apart from this, Pakistan is also expanding its surface fleet. It has commissioned Zulfiqar-class frigates, based on China’s Type 053H3 vessels, which serve multiple roles, including anti-submarine warfare. It carries YJ-82 missiles for anti-surface warfare and FM-90N short-range surface-to-air missiles for self-defense.

In January 2022, the Pakistan Navy commissioned its most advanced vessel, the guided missile frigate Tughril. The Tughril is the first of four powerful Type 054A/P frigates being built in Shanghai for the Pakistan Navy. The vessel is armed with surface-to-air missiles and supersonic surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs), is a versatile warship capable of undertaking multiple missions. The second such vessel, the Taimur, was commissioned in June 2022.

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While the Tughril-class frigates represent a significant addition to Pakistan’s surface fleet, they do not pose a credible deterrent against the Indian Navy’s superior capabilities and numerical advantage. But still, India needs to monitor Pakistan’s shift toward power projection in the IOR. The addition of these advanced frigates enhances the Pakistan Navy’s capability to operate in distant waters, which is demonstrated by its ability to conduct joint drills with China’s navy in the East China Sea this year.

Besides China, Turkey is also playing a key role in stretching and modernizing Pakistan’s naval fleet. In 2018, Pakistan and Turkey signed a contract for the construction of four Milgem-class corvettes based on the design of Turkish Ada-class ships. Under the deal, Turkey will deliver four ships to Pakistan by February 2025.

Pakistan’s continued induction of higher-tonnage surface vessels reflects its ambition to enhance power projection in the region. The concerns for India lie not only in the naval imbalance but also in Pakistan’s first-ever maritime doctrine, “Preserving Freedom of Seas.”

Pakistan’s maritime strategy has evolved from an offensive sea denial approach to one focused on a sustained presence in the IOR. The Chinese-made J-10 fighter, which is part of China’s naval arm, can be used by the Pakistan Navy to carry out maritime operations in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. The warplane can carry anti-ship missiles, which could enable the Pakistan Navy to play a more responsive role in the Indian Ocean.

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Presently, Pakistan cannot come close to matching the maritime power of its archrival India, but the continued push for modernization and renewed strategic cooperation with China and Turkey could change the status quo by transforming Pakistan into a genuine regional naval power. A strong Pakistan Navy equipped with advanced frigates and other weapons is part of Beijing’s grand plan to ensure the security of Chinese oil imports coming from the Persian Gulf and attain control of the sea lanes traversing the Indian Ocean.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani official eyes cooperation with Türkiye on UAVs, advanced fighters

https://www.dailysabah.com/business/defense/pakistani-official-eyes-cooperation-with-turkiye-on-uavs-advanced-fighters

Saying that the defense industries of Türkiye and Pakistan have been working together for more than two decades, the Pakistani secretary for defense production added that the two countries will consolidate their work and look ahead to new fields, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and advanced fighters.

Turkish-Pakistani relations have expanded "exponentially" over the last decade, Humayun Aziz told Anadolu Agency (AA).

He stressed that Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Pakistani Karachi Shipyard, and Turkish defense firm STM have established ties.

Karachi Shipyard and STM are building Milgem Plus warships in Pakistan, and the two countries will work on submarines as well, he underlined during the 16th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) in Istanbul, Türkiye's commercial capital.

He added that new frontiers include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and advanced fighters, "because we are already progressing a lot in submarine and ship-building."

Türkiye and Pakistan are also cooperating militarily in regard to small arms and other projects, he noted.

Working on new capabilities
On the technological aspect, the two countries have a good understanding and are working on certain advanced designs, Aziz said.

He said, "The defense industry is actively cooperating with us for work on new design capabilities which also includes artificial intelligence and new techniques."

On the current IDEF defense fair, which runs through Friday, Aziz said the event is growing in strength.

"Our relations are continuous, but definitely these exhibitions provide us with an opportunity to assess a lot of products on one platform in one day," he highlighted.

He said many people visited Pakistan's pavilion at the event, adding, "We have some tremendous missile, aircraft, (and) unmanned combat vehicle technology capabilities. So I see a lot of interest from people in things we are presenting."

Riaz Haq said...

Evolution of AI’s Significance in Pakistan

https://cscr.pk/explore/themes/politics-governance/pakistans-draft-national-ai-policy-is-a-hodgepodge-of-technospeak/

The hype around Artificial Intelligence (AI) has increased over the past decade, but in Pakistan, this began gaining momentum around 2017 onward. It began with a few opinion pieces in institutional publications calling for the securitisation of AI against “hybrid war” to proper governmental initiatives by two different political governments. Near the very end of its tenure in mid-2018, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) government led then by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, inaugurated a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence (NCAI) at the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), followed by a Rs 1.1bn budgetary allocation for select universities (mostly in Punjab and Islamabad, one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Sindh each); most importantly, NUST was declared as the headquarters from where these research and development (R&D) efforts on AI would be coordinated.

A month later (May 2018), the succeeding federal government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), led by then Prime Minister Imran Khan, approved the Digital Pakistan Policy. This was the first high-level government policy to lay out a plan to set up innovation centres in different thematic areas across the provincial capitals and minor/auxiliary cities, which included AI as a special focus area. The year concluded with the President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi, himself a former PTI leader, ambitiously declaring his own Presidential Initiative for Artificial Intelligence & Computing (PIAIC).

On the practical side, it is a rudderless policy driven more by utopian ideals instead of factual appreciation of strengths and weaknesses.

Two years later (during the PTI government) in 2020, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) took the lead in setting up a Centre of Artificial Intelligence and Computing (CENTAIC). The next year (2021), PAF also inaugurated a Cyber Security Academy within Air University, during which the Air Force’s C4I lead also announced the intent to set up an Air Force Cyber Command.

Shortly after the deposition of the PTI government by the incumbent Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) alliance in the first half of 2022, the budget was approved to set up a Sino-Pak Centre for Artificial Intelligence (SPCAI) at the Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (PAF-IAST) in Haripur, which purportedly collaborates through linkages with academia and industries in Austria and China. Also, in the same year, the Pakistan Army announced the inauguration of its Cyber Command, which reportedly consists of two divisions, one of which (the Army Centre of Emerging Technologies) is reasonably believed to include AI in its focus areas.

The incumbent PDM government, through the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, had reportedly constituted a 15-member National Task Force (NTF) on Artificial Intelligence with the purported objective of supporting national development, even before the draft policy was published. The dichotomy is mind-boggling since MoITT has the primary mandate of supervising ICT-related initiatives.

Ignoring the Elephants in the Room

The authors of the draft National AI Policy are surprisingly oblivious or intentionally ignorant of major obstacles to its proper appreciation and implementation (adoption).

Riaz Haq said...

After Azerbaijan, will Pakistan also join Turkey’s 5th generation fighter program?


https://breakingdefense.com/2023/08/after-azerbaijan-will-pakistan-also-join-turkeys-5th-generation-fighter-program/


Collaborating with other countries will accelerate the development process and with reduce the risks on Turkey, experts told Breaking Defense.
By AGNES HELOU


BEIRUT — Just a week after Turkey signed an agreement to add Azerbaijan to its fifth generation fighter jet program, a senior Turkish official suggested that Pakistan, too, could join in.

“Pretty soon, within this month, we will be discussing with our Pakistani counterparts to officially include Pakistan in our national fighter jet program, KAAN,” deputy defense minister Celal Sami Tufekci announced Wednesday.

The agreement with Azerbaijan came last week during the International Defense Industry Fair, or IDEF 2023, held in Istanbul. It was a move that was described by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a “new sign of solidarity between the two countries.”

While the Pakistani government doesn’t appear to have commented publicly about their potential inclusion, and a representative for the Pakistani air force did not immediately respond to Breaking Defense’s request for comment, experts said that working with other countries will accelerate the development process for the ambitious KAAN project and with reduce the risks on Turkey.

“Developing a fifth-generation fighter aircraft is a complex and costly endeavor that requires a wide range of expertise and resources. Collaborating with other countries allows Turkey to pool resources and technological know-how from the participating nations and distribute the financial burden, resulting in a more advanced and capable aircraft,” Mohammed Soliman, director of the Strategic Technologies and Cyber Security Program at the Middle East Institute, said.

Turkey has revealed an ambitious schedule for the fighter, including a first flight scheduled for late December, though experts said it could be a decade or more before the plane is operational.

“We have a period of [10-plus] years ahead of us, and there is no guarantee that this process will end smoothly and on time,” Turkish aerospace and defense expert Cem Dogut told Breaking Defense.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan opens National Aerospace Science and Technology Park to induce technological advancement

https://www.arabnews.pk/node/2349931/pakistan


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday inaugurated the National Aerospace Science and Technology Park at the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Base Nurkhan in Rawalpindi, his office said, with the premier saying the facility would help induce technological advancement in the South Asian country.

The NASTP would foster research, development and innovation in the fields of aviation, space, cyber and computing to ensure social, economic, technological and scientific dividends for Pakistan and its valuable partners, according to a statement issued by Sharif’s office.

In his address with attendees at the inauguration, the prime minister termed the National Aerospace Science and Technology Park a project of “national and strategic significance” that would reap multi-dimensional benefits for the country.

“[The] NASTP project would induce technological advancement and would make the country more self-reliant by providing a platform for the youth and our future generations,” Sharif said.

“The project is equipped with state-of-the-art design, innovation, research and development centers which would provide ample opportunities for foreign investment in the country.”

He praised the efforts of the Pakistan Air Force and its skilled personnel in achieving of the “milestone” in record time.

“[The] NASTP is a highly promising project that will leverage collective wisdom and would contribute to kick-starting Pakistan’s economy to bring it on a fast track toward progression,” the prime minister added.

The facility, under the patronage and support of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), will enable the information technology (IT) sector as one of the key domains of the economic revival initiative, according to the statement.

Reeling with an economic crisis, Pakistan set up the SIFC in June to attract foreign investment.

Riaz Haq said...

Turkey said nearly 200 Pakistani engineers and officials are involved in the Turkish Aerospace Kaan fifth-generation fighter project. (Turkish Aerospace)


https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/turkey-to-engage-pakistan-over-officially-joining-kaan-project

The Turkish government has announced that Pakistan may officially join its fifth-generation Turkish Aerospace (TA) Kaan fighter aircraft programme.

In an announcement on 2 August in Karachi, Turkish Deputy Defence Minister Celal Sami Tüfekçi said Ankara and Islamabad would initiate discussions about Pakistan joining the project. “Pretty soon, within this month, we will be discussing with our Pakistani counterparts to officially include Pakistan in our national fighter jet programme (Kaan),” Tüfekçi said.

He also revealed that nearly 200 Pakistani officials and engineers were “already [taking] part in the development of this programme”.

Tüfekçi's announcement follows an early announcement by Turkish officials in February 2022 that Pakistan was a collaborative partner for the development of the fighter aircraft. At the time, the CEO of Turkish Aerospace (TUSAŞ), Temel Kotil, had said the TF-X (Kaan) was a “Turkish-Pakistani fighter programme”.

However, Tüfekçi's recent announcement suggests that Pakistan's involvement is not yet official. Both Pakistan and Turkey seek a fifth-generation fighter aircraft to replace their fourth-generation Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter aircraft.

According to information published by TA, the Kaan is intended to have a maximum speed of Mach 1.8 at 40,000 ft (12,192 m) and a service ceiling of 55,000 ft.

Turkey's interest in making Pakistan an official partner in the project reflects Ankara's ambition to enhance resources and expertise to mature the programme. Pakistan's potential involvement in the Kaan project will almost certainly be supported by the Pakistan Air Force's (PAF's) new National Aerospace Science and Technology Park (NASTP). This facility was established on 4 August at the PAF base at Base Nur Khan near Islamabad.

Riaz Haq said...

Chinese-Origin J-10C Fighter ‘Challenges’ Eurofighter Typhoon As Pakistan, Qatar Hold Aerial Drills

https://www.eurasiantimes.com/chinese-origin-j-10c-fighter-challenges-eurofighter-typhoons/

By Ashish Dangwal

Pakistan’s newly inducted J-10C fighters are making their mark in a major aerial exercise, where they ‘challenge’ Eurofighter Typhoons of the Qatar Emiri Air Force for the first time.

On January 10, 2024, the Pakistan Air Force officially announced that Qatari Eurofighter Typhoons and Pakistani Chengdu J-10Cs are currently engaged in joint air exercises known as Zilzal-II, hosted by Qatar.

The exercise aims to simulate a “realistic aerial warfare scenario” to evaluate both air forces’ operational readiness.

According to the PAF, the exercise is one of the most complex joint air force drills, aiming to foster interoperability between the two allied nations and create a shared learning space.

“During the exercise, PAF’s newly inducted state-of-the-art J-10C fighter aircraft will flex its muscles against Eurofighter jets of Qatar Emiri Air Force in their first-ever face-off in an aerial exercise,” the official statement informed.

Pakistan welcomed the first batch of Chinese-developed J-10Cs into its air force in March 2022. The precise number of deployed J-10 aircraft in the ongoing exercise remains undisclosed.

The activities are centered at the Doha airbase, near the capital’s main airport, in contrast to the Al-Udeid airbase, where a notable US presence is observed.

“The successful induction and operationalization of the J-10C fighter jets in PAF’s fighter fleet and their participation in yet another international exercise in an unprecedented short span of time is a remarkable achievement,” the Pakistan Air Force said.


Highlighting the significance of the J-10Cs’ participation, the PAF emphasizes that it represents a notable milestone in their pursuit of a “technologically advanced and formidable Air Force.”

The service also pointed out that the swift acquisition and operationalization of these advanced fighter aircraft underscore the PAF’s commitment to maintaining a cutting-edge force capable of addressing evolving challenges and safeguarding Pakistan’s airspace proficiently.

Nonetheless, the exercise is expected to offer valuable insights into the relative effectiveness of the Chinese platform and give an insight into its capabilities.

Both aircraft are outfitted with cutting-edge active electronically scanned array radars and can employ beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles. Specifically, the Eurofighter utilizes the MBDA Meteor, while the J-10C relies on the export version of the PL-15.

Zilzal II Joint Aerial Exercise
Zilzal-II, designed to enhance joint planning mechanisms, is a significant milestone in fortifying the enduring defense partnership between the two closely aligned nations.

The first iteration of Zilzal, held in 2020, concentrated on reinforcing the established defense collaboration between the two nations. During the Zilzal-I exercise in 2020, Pakistan’s JF-17 Thunder fighters operated alongside Qatar’s Mirage 2000s.