July 18, 2019

In Search of Ideas: The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Wants You

By Robert O. Work and Eric Schmidt

Americans don’t want to grow old wondering what happened to their country’s place in the world. U.S. global leadership has fostered international institutions, strengthened human rights in international relations, and helped make what President Woodrow Wilson sought more than a century ago: a world “safe for democracy.” But Americans should not take those features of the global order for granted.

After a briefer-than-expected period of unchallenged power and two longer-than-expected unconventional wars, the United States once again finds itself facing state actors with the potential to match its power and ideologies and interests in conflict with its own. Whether or not that results in a new Cold War or a different type of peace remains to be seen. In either case, as with previous competitions, emerging technology will likely play a prominent role.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, has emerged as one of the most important technologies for national security. America’s level of AI competence will affect almost every aspect of American life, from developing more effective ways to educate the people to changing the way we earn wages to defending against cyber-attacks and on the battlefield.

The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, which we co-chair, is an independent federal commission helping the United States government determine what actions to take to ensure America’s national security enterprise has the tools it needs to maintain U.S. global leadership. The commission includes four working groups and three special projects. The working groups focus on maintaining U.S. global leadership in AI research, sustaining global leadership in national security AI applications, preparing the national security workforce for an AI future, and ensuring international cooperation and competitiveness in AI. The three special projects address ethics, data, and public-private partnerships. We will produce two reports to Congress, both intended to elevate awareness and to inform better legislation.

Read the full article in War on the Rocks.

  • Podcast
    • March 16, 2020
    The Cyberlaw Podcast: The (Almost) COVID-19-Free Episode

    If your podcast feed has suddenly become a steady diet of more or less the same COVID-19 stories, here’s a chance to listen to cyber experts talk about what they know about – ...

    By Elsa B. Kania

  • Commentary
    • Slate
    • February 19, 2020
    Faux News Articles and Social Media Posts Will Haunt This Election

    Last September, an image of a New York Times headline began circulating online, claiming that Abdullah Abdullah, a candidate for the Afghan presidency, had taken millions of d...

    By Chris Estep & Megan Lamberth

  • Commentary
    • Council on Foreign Relations
    • February 12, 2020
    The Dangers of Manipulated Media in the Midst of a Crisis

    In the immediate aftermath of the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the internet was flooded with purportedly real-time information about the circ...

    By Megan Lamberth

  • Commentary
    • Defense One
    • January 28, 2020
    Great Powers Must Talk to Each Other About AI

    Imagine an underwater drone armed with nuclear warheads and capable of operating autonomously. Now imagine that drone has lost its way and wandered into another state’s territ...

    By Elsa B. Kania & Dr. Andrew Imbrie

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia