April 30, 2020

When machine learning comes to nuclear communication systems

By Philip Reiner, Alexa Wehsener and M. Nina Miller

Nuclear deterrence depends on fragile, human perceptions of credibility.

As states armed with nuclear weapons turn to machine learning techniques to enhance their nuclear command, control, and communications (NC3) systems, the United States and its competitors should take care that these new tools do not inadvertently accelerate crisis instability or an arms race.

NC3 Systems and Credibility

Stability between competing nations largely relies on ascertaining the credibility of threats, capabilities, and decisions in order to decrease uncertainty and reduce the risk of conflict. Throughout the Cold War, NC3 systems served as mechanisms for signaling intent and capability, ensuring the credibility of deterrence postures, and decreasing the risk of nuclear war. In the early 21st century, technological developments such as machine learning techniques are introducing new dynamics and capabilities that increase uncertainty and lend to “strategic instability.”

Read the full article from C4ISRNET.

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