Image credit: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr/CC BY SA 2.0/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
March 02, 2023
AI Nuclear Weapons Catastrophe Can Be Avoided
In October 2022, the U.S. Department of Defense released its National Defense Strategy, which included a Nuclear Posture Review. Notably, the department committed to always maintain human control over nuclear weapons: “In all cases, the United States will maintain a human ‘in the loop’ for all actions critical to informing and executing decisions by the President to initiate and terminate nuclear weapon employment.”
AI-enabled nuclear weapons are particularly concerning due to their civilization-destroying nature.
This commitment is a valuable first step that other nuclear powers should follow. Still, it is not enough. Commitments like these are time and circumstance dependent. The U.S. military does not currently feel the need to produce and deploy such weapons, in part because it does not see other nuclear powers engaging in similar behavior. Thus, the threat of an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled arms race is not a high-level concern for military planners. In the future, emerging AI features will only increase the potential for disaster through the possibility of semiautonomous or fully autonomous nuclear weapons.
Read the full article from Lawfare.
More from CNAS
Transcript from Artificial Intelligence and the Role of Confidence-Building Measures
On March 5, 2021, the CNAS Technology and National Security Program hosted a virtual discussion on AI and the role of confidence-building measures. This event is a part of the...
By Paul Scharre, Helen Toner, Michael Horowitz & Kerstin Vignard
AI & Military Procurement: What Computers Still Can’t Do
Not all artificial intelligence (AI) is made equal. A wide range of different techniques and applications fall under the term “AI.” Some of these techniques and applications w...
By Maaike Verbruggen
When machine learning comes to nuclear communication systems
Nuclear deterrence depends on fragile, human perceptions of credibility. As states armed with nuclear weapons turn to machine learning techniques to enhance their nuclear com...
By Philip Reiner, Alexa Wehsener & M. Nina Miller
How Adversarial Attacks Could Destabilize Military AI Systems
Artificial intelligence and robotic technologies with semi-autonomous learning, reasoning, and decision-making capabilities are increasingly being incorporated into defense, m...
By Dr. David Danks