January 20, 2015

The A.I. Wars?

By Paul Scharre

Source: Slate

Journalist(s) Adam Elkus

In the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, technology takes down one of history’s most brutal foes: the Nazis. The film highlights the role of computing in core aspects of strategy and geopolitics. Turing and other codebreakersplayed a pivotal role in deciding the Battle of the Atlantic, going against the presumption that German naval communications were unbreakable.

But breaking WWII codes may not be Turing’s only contribution to security and geopolitics. Today, some suggest that modern-day realizations of Turing’s theories about artificial intelligence could be just as pivotal in deciding the fate of 21st-century nations. Political scientist Michael Horowitz has already posited a “robotics gap” akin to the Cold War “missile gap.” The Center for a New American Security’s Paul Scharre has defined robot swarms as a future military technology regime akin to the invention of precision-guided weapons, which many believe was key to deciding the military component of the late Cold War. (Full disclosure: I consulted on a recent report of Scharre’s.)

Read the full article in Slate.

  • Paul Scharre

    Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Paul Scharre is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. From 2008-2013, Mr. Scharre worked in t...