August 17, 2022

CNAS Launches New Project on Artificial Intelligence Safety and Stability

Washington, August 17, 2022—The Center for a New American Security is pleased to announce a new, multi-year project on artificial intelligence (AI) safety and stability.

Nations around the world are investing in AI to improve their military, intelligence, and other national security capabilities. Yet AI technology, at present, has significant safety and security vulnerabilities. AI systems could fail, potentially in unexpected ways, due to a variety of causes. Moreover, the interactive nature of military competition means that one nation’s actions affect others, including in ways that may be detrimental to mutual stability. There is an urgent need to explore actions that can mitigate these risks, such as improved processes for AI assurance, norms and best practices for responsible AI adoption, and confidence-building measures that improve stability among all nations.

CNAS is launching a new project to better understand AI risks and specific steps that can be taken to improve AI safety and stability in national security applications. Major lines of effort include:

  • Anticipating, preventing, and mitigating catastrophic AI failures
  • Improving Defense Department processes for ensuring safe, secure, and trusted AI
  • Understanding and shaping opportunities for compute governance

“AI technology is powerful but brittle, with significant reliability and security concerns,” said Paul Scharre, CNAS Director of Studies. “As nations integrate AI into national security applications, it is imperative that AI systems are safe, reliable, robust, and secure. This project will help deepen our understanding of concrete steps that can be taken to address these risks in the national security space.”

This cross-program effort will include the CNAS Technology and National Security, Defense, Indo-Pacific Security, Transatlantic Security, and Energy, Economics, and Security programs. CNAS experts will share their findings in public reports and policy briefs with recommendations for policymakers.

This project is made possible with the generous support of Open Philanthropy.