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AI and the Military: Lacking Global Governance, Algorithmic Warfare Poised to Proliferate

By Dick Weisinger

As Artificial Intelligence grows in capabilities, it is increasingly being adopted by governments for military and geopolitical purposes. The US, China and Russia are all attempting to improve their military capabilities by adopting AI, robotics and autonomous capabilities.

Geopolitical tensions are increasing as counties invest in an AI arms race competition. In March, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), a group established by the US Congress, advocated that the US accelerate military-focused AI technologies in order to preserve national security and competitiveness with China and Russia.

The Brookings Institute recommends that much more diplomatic efforts be made to come to consensus of how AI can be applied to military operations. “In this high-risk era, it is now time to negotiate global agreements governing the conduct of war during the early adoption and adaptation of AI and emerging technologies to the waging of war and to specific systems and weapons. It will be much easier to do this before AI capabilities are fully fielded and embedded in military planning.”

The RAND Corporation recently created a simulation of possible hostilities between China and the US, Japan and South Korea. In a report discussing the results of that simulation, the authors warned that ‚ÄúDecisions made at machine rather than human speeds also have the potential to escalate crises at machine speeds. During protracted crises and conflicts, there could be strong incentives for each side to use autonomous capabilities early and extensively to gain military advantage. This raises the possibility of first-strike instability. An arms race in autonomous systems between the United States and China already appears imminent and is likely to increase instability.”

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