March 01, 2018

Is China seeking “quantum surprise?”

By Elsa B. Kania

Hype about artificial intelligence (AI) seems at or near a peak. A wave of hype is also emerging around quantum technologies, particularly quantum computing. When these two waves of hype collide, do they simply produce more hype—or could real risks, and a potential military “revolution,” arise at the convergence of AI and quantum computing?

Certainly, when the perils and potential of these technologies are discussed, some exuberance is warranted. Each has beencharacterized as the “new electricity”—and these are indeed technologies that could transform all sectors and create new industrial revolutions. But for the time being, both AI and quantum technologies remain fairly nascent fields, with limitations that will prevent the rapid realization of their full potential. And as with any technological transformation, anticipating the future impact of AI and quantum technologies in the commercial and defense realms is difficult, if not nearly impossible.

That said, AI is starting to be widely recognized as a potential catalyst for a new military revolution that could transform current paradigms of military power. Unsurprisingly, major powers including the United States and China are actively advancing military applications of AI, competing to innovate in this domain.

Read the full article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

  • Commentary
    • National Endowment for Democracy
    • May 26, 2020
    Converging Chinese and Russian Disinformation Compounds Threat to Democracy

    In recent weeks the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) propaganda and disinformation blitz around COVID-19 has drawn increasing attention, and with good reason. In addition to pr...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor & David Shullman

  • Commentary
    • May 20, 2020
    Digital Threats to Democracy: A Double-Edged Sentence

    This ongoing series from Technology for Global Security (T4GS) and the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) examines the elements and potential implications of digital th...

    By M. Nina Miller

  • Video
    • May 20, 2020
    U.S.-China relations are in a free fall, says expert

    Former State Department official Anja Manuel joins Morning Joe to discuss why she says U.S.-China relations are in a free fall. Watch the full conversation on MSNBC....

    By Anja Manuel

  • Commentary
    • Wired
    • May 19, 2020
    Are AI-Powered Killer Robots Inevitable?

    In war, speed kills. The soldier who is a split second quicker on the draw may walk away from a firefight unscathed; the ship that sinks an enemy vessel first may spare i...

    By Paul Scharre

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia