Will AI related techniques have an impact international security and stability?
International Security: there needs to be a much broader policy - and public - discussion about the role of AI related techniques in military decision making, to include but not confined to the ongoing debate over the role of autonomous weapons. We kicked off a quiet process in late February 2017 with an event hosted by Cooley LLC at their HQ in Palo Alto, with a panel discussion featuring Paul Saffo, John Markoff, and Randy Sabett, to delve into the question of defining the state of the art - and how much of the noise surrounding AI-related technologies is just hyperbole? Building on that foundation, a second workshop was hosted by Andreessen Horowitz in May 2017, focused more intently on establishing a baseline understanding the broad potential societal implications of AI-related technologies - while putting the international security piece in a much broader context. Our next workshop will take place in June 2018 in Silicon Valley, and is part of a newly launched joint effort with CGSR at LLNL described below. We will begin that process by investigating in much more detail how policymakers should anticipate AI-related technologies impacting international security - from planning and budgeting to understanding how these technologies will impact the information that informs national security decision making.
Strategic Stability and Nuclear Deterrence: we remain concerned at the paucity of literature and technical understanding in this space and are partnering with the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Labs to better understand these issues - as noted, kicking off in June 2018 as the beginning of a series of workshops to identify just how AI may impact strategic stability and nuclear deterrence plans and strategy. Again, our focus is not just on the the questions surrounding "killer robots", but much more broadly taking a look at how these technologies may revolutionize the entire domain of warfare - and better understanding the implications well in advance.
There is an array of further research and both theoretical and practical considerations needed to begin to understand what may be one of the greatest challenges to international stability in the coming decades. The corollary, in our minds, may well be the massive effort undertaken by the RAND organization during the nuclear era: in that light, we only likely find ourselves today as they did in the late 1940's and 50's - except now everything is moving much more quickly. Stay tuned for more information as we continue to expand our work in this space.