Image credit: Carl Court/Getty Images

December 20, 2019

As the US, China, and Russia build new nuclear weapons systems, how will AI be built in?

Featuring Paul Scharre, Michael Horowitz, and Alexander Velez-Green

Source: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Journalist Matt Field

Researchers in the United States and elsewhere are paying a lot of attention to the prospect that in the coming years new nuclear weapons—and the infrastructure built to operate them—will include greater levels of artificial intelligence and automation. Earlier this month, three prominent US defense experts published a comprehensive analysis of how automation is already involved in nuclear command and control systems and of what could go wrong if countries implement even riskier forms of it.

The working paper “A Stable Nuclear Future? The Impact of Autonomous Systems and Artificial Intelligence” by the team of Michael Horowitz, Paul Scharre, and Alexander Velez-Green comes on the heels of other scholarly takes on the impact artificial intelligence (AI) will have on strategies around using nuclear weapons. All this research reflects the fact that militaries around the world are incorporating more artificial intelligence into non-nuclear weaponry—and that several countries are overhauling their nuclear weapons programs. “We wanted to better understand both the potentially stabilizing and destabilizing effects of automation on nuclear stability,” Scharre, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, told the Bulletin.

Read the full story and more in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.


  • Paul Scharre

    Vice President and Director of Studies

    Paul Scharre is the Vice President and Director of Studies at CNAS. He is the award-winning author of Four Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. His firs...

  • Michael Horowitz

    Former Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Michael C. Hororwitz is a former Adjunct Senior Fellow in the Technology and National Security Program at CNAS. He is currently the Director of Emerging Capabilities Policy Of...

  • Alexander Velez-Green