Technology for Global Security is launching a joint initiative with the Center for Global Security and Research at the renowned Lawrence Livermore National Labs to understand and manage the long-term opportunities and risks posed by artificial intelligence-related technologies to international security and warfare. For most of human history, the army with the largest size had the distinct advantage on the battlefield. In WWI, Frederick Lanchester even devised a famous mathematical formula showing that the advantage a larger military force has is the difference of the squares of the two opposing armies. However, the United States has been the preeminent military power since WWII, not because of the size of its armies, but through the development and use of superior technology.
The paradigm shifts underpinning decades of U.S. technological advantage are known as “offsets” in the military strategy community, and are quintessentially American. The first way that the U.S. leveraged superior technology to “offset” greater Soviet forces was through the atomic bomb. Later, once the Soviet Union achieved nuclear superiority, the U.S. Department of Defense devised a second offset consisting of stealth technology, precision-guided munitions, networked operations, and spaced-based communications (a principal architect of the second offset was Dr. William Perry, who is an advisor to Tech4GS). Again today, strategic adversaries are achieving parity with the United States in military technology, and accordingly, America must consider the application of new, game-changing advances. This is important not just for the United States, but also globally as American preeminence has underwritten international security - but also rules, norms and respect for basic human rights and dignity - for over 50 years. Power abhors a vacuum and, during this time of global political upheaval, more autocratic governments could - and will likely - step in to reshape global consensus in their image.
To that end, countries around the world are studying advancements in machine or artificial intelligence (AI) as the fundamental driver behind the next generation of warfare and international strategic stability. The U.S. Defense Department is looking at AI-related technologies, in fact, to underpin their overall “third offset” strategy. As with many other aspects of society, advances in AI-related technologies have the potential to significantly disrupt the nature of human-machine interaction and warfare. Just as industrial-era technologies augmented and in many ways replaced human physical labor, AI will enhance - or even replace - human cognitive efforts. The potential international security policy implications of AI include: decreased trust in the strategic assumptions and the technologies that underpin decision-making in a crisis; disruptions in the security dilemma as a result of AI-enabled tactical and strategic shifts in the prevention and conduct of warfare; and AI-enabled disruptions to long-term strategic planning and budgeting for maintaining strategic stability between major powers.
At this stage, the national security and technology communities lack a clear, consensus understanding of the near- and long-term opportunities and risks of AI, and therefore lack a clear, consensus understanding of the means to mitigate potentially destabilizing advances at the policy, legislative, and technological level. It is through our work with CGSR that we hope to begin a years-long process of building a repository of the information and insight necessary to fill this gap. For those interested in joining this discussion, or if you have questions, get in touch at email@example.com - we look forward to hearing from you and collaborating on the path forward.
We recently hosted the second iteration of workshops for our Building an Anti-DDoS Coalition project. The event was generously hosted in Menlo Park by the Hewlett Foundation, and participants included representatives from representatives from over a dozen market-leading companies and government agencies. This session followed up on the initial, highly informative discussion held in Washington DC, overall representing dozens of companies and government agencies from all over the world as we look to host unique meetings designed to connect policymakers with technologists.
Much work remains to be done to reduce the volume of and risks posed by these types of attacks - but there is also an entire ecosystem of actors dedicated to and in large part effectively managing DDoS attacks around the world. We learned a great deal through this session, and are looking to consolidating the outcomes in the coming weeks.
This is a set of risks that is not going away any time soon, that remains abundantly clear. What is less clear is just how much risk is posed by what inevitably will be ever-increasingly large-scale attacks, both by state and non-state actors. Stay tuned for further details - and get in touch if you're interested in joining the conversation or learning more about what we're doing: firstname.lastname@example.org
-Philip Reiner, Executive Director
In light of increasingly dangerous rhetoric and the risk of nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula, on October 30th Tech4GS joined forces with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University and the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley to discuss the true nature of the threats facing the region and how everyday citizens can get involved and actually have an impact.
Joining the discussion was an illustrious panel including the Honorable Dr. William J. Perry, the former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Kathleen Stephens and Dr. Jeffrey Lewis of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Gloria Duffy, the president and CEO of the Commonwealth Club of California, moderated the discussion.
It became clear through the course of the discussion that the lack of open channels for dialogue, as had existed in the past, severely constrains options for ratcheting back tensions between the United States and North Korea. Much was discussed in terms of what the United States and other nations have done in the past to create diplomatic space and alternatives for North Korea's future - and it was reiterated that the only solution short of catastrophe must come through similar diplomatic means. The panelists made clear that while they felt that would still be a challenge - in light of the current situation in Washington as well as in the region - that renewed efforts must be undertaken to avoid what would inevitably be a calamitous outcome if military action were to break out on the peninsula. The panelists all concurred that the North Koreans do not seek war - that their actions, while provocative and inherently destabilizing, are the result of a regime acting out of its interest in simply surviving.
Dr. Perry concluded the evening by reminding the room - which included a large number of young attendees from Santa Clara University - that making their voices heard with their representatives in Washington still makes a difference, particularly in light of legislation being proposed to require Congressional approval in advance of any preventative military action by the United States.
The event was recorded and can be accessed here: https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/archive/podcast/north-korea-nuclear-weapons-and-threat-war
The recording is also set to air this Thursday, November 9 at 7 pm on KLIV AM (1590).
-Philip Reiner, Executive Director
Artificial intelligence is already displacing workers — managing its rise should start now.
What are the most critical issues associated with artificial intelligence that our national leaders need to be aware of, in the short term? Help us answer that question - time is of the essence. Review our new article and send us your thoughts.
Recent public comments by Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin point to the need for efforts like what Technology for Global Security is undertaking to help manage the societal implications of the rise artificial intelligence. We took the opportunity to develop a short opinion piece posted on Medium laying out the case - check it out here and share with friends and colleagues.
Artificial intelligence will dramatically alter our lives. Join us and learn more about what together we can do.