In 1983, Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov prevented what could have been a devastating nuclear war by trusting his gut instinct that the algorithm in his early-warning system wrongly sensed incoming missiles. In this case, we praise Petrov for choosing human judgment over the automated system in front of him. But what will happen as the AI algorithms deployed in the nuclear sphere become much more advanced, accurate, and difficult to understand? Will the next officer in Petrov’s position be more likely to trust the “smart” machine in front of him?
On this month’s podcast, Ariel spoke with Paul Scharre and Mike Horowitz from the Center for a New American Security about the role of automation in the nuclear sphere, and how the proliferation of AI technologies could change nuclear posturing and the effectiveness of deterrence. Paul is a former Pentagon policy official, and the author of Army of None: Autonomous Weapons in the Future of War. Mike Horowitz is professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, and the author of The Diffusion of Military Power: Causes and Consequences for International Politics.
Listen to the full conversation here.
More from CNAS
CommentaryIn Search of Ideas: The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Wants You
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 hu...
By Robert O. Work & Eric Schmidt
PodcastWhat Could Possibly Go Wrong?
War has been a driver of breakthrough technology for a long time. The first waves of artificial intelligence and even the internet came out of DARPA, a defense agency whose or...
By Paul Scharre, Richard Danzig, Arati Prabhakar & Jonathan Wilson
Video2019 Drell Lecture: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War
On April 30, 2019, CNAS Technology and National Security Program Director Paul Scharre delivered the 2019 Drell Lecture on the campus of Stanford University. Scharre's remarks...
By Paul Scharre
The nation that leads in the development of artificial intelligence will, Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed in 2017, “become the ruler of the world.” That view has b...
By Paul Scharre