Brain-computer interfaces give humans the ability to directly control machines with their minds. Before this emerging technology matures, it's important for developers to weigh the opportunities against the risks.
As the Pentagon and commercial technologists continue to explore the potential of commercial technologies for the military and work towards greater adoption, they may wish to focus not only on lowering bureaucratic barriers but also on managing expectations about what technologies will be most beneficial and how they will be used.
While autonomous weapons systems are still in their early development stages, it is worth the time of policymakers to carefully consider whether their putative operational advantages are worth the potential risks of instability and escalation they may raise.
The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence put out an open call for submissions about emerging technology's role in the global order. RAND researchers stepped up to the challenge and submitted a wide range of ideas.
The United States should apply lessons from the 70-year history of governing nuclear technology by building a framework for governing AI military technology. An AI for Peace program should articulate the dangers of this new technology, principles to manage the dangers, and a structure to shape the incentives for other states.
Some in the Australian defence community have called for significant changes to the Australian Defence Force structure in response to changing global strategic conditions. Before Australia considers any new long-range strike capabilities, an analysis of alternatives that examines both cost and capability is essential.
Contrary to the promise that AI would deliver an omniscient view of everything happening in the battlespace—the goal of U.S. military planners for decades—it now appears that technologies of misdirection are winning. Military deception, in short, could prove to be AI’s killer app.
Unless the Pentagon embraces a more open approach to artificial intelligence, it will be left behind. Private sector innovation in this space is too fast. But what are the risks of disseminating potentially sensitive AI technology? And what should not be disclosed?
Friends of Europe's Debating Security Plus 2019 Programme
An AI code of conduct for defense should look a lot like all other defense codes of conduct. A global society that would create the Geneva Convention is a society that believes in a moral code for warfare. This same code could extend into its weaponized algorithms.
Advocates want a code of conduct for how artificial intelligence will be used and oversight to ensure it is being followed. DoD could identify areas where it might use AI in the foreseeable future and set rules and guidelines for business uses, non-lethal military uses, and lethal uses.
As space becomes more congested with satellites, the need for every nation to actively participate in the space safety coordination system grows. Most spacefaring countries participate, but a few countries do not—notably, Russia and China. That creates greater potential for collisions and hazards from debris.
Horizon scanning could promote innovative practices and innovation uptake, through the adoption of new ideas, equipment, and methods, with benefits that could positively affect the UK economy as a whole. But a wider mechanism for processing and assessing the selected developments would be needed.
The need for the military to make greater investments in technology is difficult if not impossible to separate from the risks posed by an increasing military reliance on this technology. Striking a balance between the two won't be easy.
Instead of worrying about an artificial intelligence “ethics gap,” U.S. policymakers and the military community could embrace a leadership role in AI ethics. This may help ensure that the AI arms race doesn't become a race to the bottom.
National security experts, flag officers, and decisionmakers attended the Roberta Wohlstetter Forum on National Security at RAND's Washington office on October 24. The featured speakers, moderators, organizers, donor, and namesake for the event were all women.