Despite calls to regulate artificial intelligence on the battlefield, China’s tech sector is in danger of complicity in developing lethal autonomous weapons, as several companies have shown a keen interest in collaborations with the country’s public security organs.

Sensetime, the world’s most valuable AI startup, and facial recognition firm Yitu were cited by Dutch anti-war non-governmental organization PAX over concerns that their technology could be used for developing “killer robots” that could choose and engage targets without human intervention.

While Sensetime and Yitu’s products are currently not employed on the battlefield, the nature of those products as well as the companies’ history of working with China’s government is worrying, PAX says. In a recent report, the NGO referred to the two firms as being of “high concern.”

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Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.