How Artificial Intelligence Could Increase the Risk of Nuclear War
Apr 24, 2018
|PDF file||0.4 MB|
Chinese language version
|PDF file||0.7 MB|
Korean language version
|PDF file||0.6 MB|
Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are enabling previously infeasible capabilities, potentially destabilizing the delicate balances that have forestalled nuclear war since 1945. Will these developments upset the nuclear strategic balance, and, if so, for better or for worse? To start to address this question, RAND researchers held a series of workshops that were attended by prominent experts on AI and nuclear security. The workshops examined the impact of advanced computing on nuclear security through 2040. The culmination of those workshops, this Perspective — one of a series that examines critical security challenges in 2040 — places the intersection of AI and nuclear war in historical context and characterizes the range of expert opinions. It then describes the types of anticipated concerns and benefits through two illustrative examples: AI for detection and for tracking and targeting and AI as a trusted adviser in escalation decisions. In view of the capabilities that AI may be expected to enable and how adversaries may perceive them, AI has the potential to exacerbate emerging challenges to nuclear strategic stability by the year 2040 even with only modest rates of technical progress. Thus, it is important to understand how this might happen and to assure that it does not.
This project is a RAND Venture. Funding was provided by gifts from RAND supporters and income from operations. The research was conducted by the Center for Global Risk and Security within International Programs.
This publication is part of the RAND Corporation Perspective series. RAND Perspectives present expert insights on timely policy issues. All RAND Perspectives undergo peer review to ensure high standards for quality and objectivity.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.