The potential for advances in information-age technologies to undermine nuclear deterrence and influence the potential for nuclear escalation represents a critical question for international politics. One challenge is that uncertainty about the trajectory of technologies such as autonomous systems and artificial intelligence (AI) makes assessments difficult. This paper evaluates the relative impact of autonomous systems and artificial intelligence in three areas: nuclear command and control, nuclear delivery platforms and vehicles, and conventional applications of autonomous systems with consequences for nuclear stability. We argue that countries may be more likely to use risky forms of autonomy when they fear that their second-strike capabilities will be undermined. Additionally, the potential deployment of uninhabited, autonomous nuclear delivery platforms and vehicles could raise the prospect for accidents and miscalculation. Conventional military applications of autonomous systems could simultaneously influence nuclear force postures and first-strike stability in previously unanticipated ways. In particular, the need to fight at machine speed and the cognitive risk introduced by automation bias could increase the risk of unintended escalation. Finally, used properly, there should be many applications of more autonomous systems in nuclear operations that can increase reliability, reduce the risk of accidents, and buy more time for decision-makers in a crisis.
The history of battle knows no bounds, with weapons of destruction evolving from prehistoric clubs, axes, and spears to bombs, drones, missiles, landmines, and systems used in biological and nuclear warfare. More recently, lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS) powered by artificial intelligence (AI) have begun to surface, raising ethical issues about the use of AI and causing disagreement on whether such weapons should be banned in line with international humanitarian laws under the Geneva Convention. Much of the disagreement around LAWS is based on where the line should be drawn between weapons with limited human control and autonomous weapons, and differences of opinion on whether more or less people will lose their lives as a result of the implementation of LAWS. There are also contrary views on whether autonomous weapons are already in play on the battlefield. Ronald Arkin, Regents' Professor and Director of the Mobile Robot Laboratory in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology, says limited autonomy is already present in weapon systems such as the U.S. Navy's Phalanx Close-In Weapons System, which is designed to identify and fire at incoming missiles or threatening aircraft, and Israel's Harpy system, a fire-and-forget weapon designed to detect, attack, and destroy radar emitters.
Artificial intelligence systems can be attacked. The methods underpinning the state-of-the-art artificial intelligence systems are systematically vulnerable to a new type of cybersecurity attack called an "artificial intelligence attack." Using this attack, adversaries can manipulate these systems in order to alter their behavior to serve a malicious end goal. As artificial intelligence systems are further integrated into critical components of society, these artificial intelligence attacks represent an emerging and systematic vulnerability with the potential to have significant effects on the security of the country. These "AI attacks" are fundamentally different from traditional cyberattacks. Unlike traditional cyberattacks that are caused by "bugs" or human mistakes in code, AI attacks are enabled by inherent limitations in the underlying AI algorithms that currently cannot be fixed. Further, AI attacks fundamentally expand the set of entities that can be used to execute ...
It is a terrifying vision of the future of battle. Called RoBattle, this heavy duty combat and support robot is strapped with a'robotic kit' consisting of vehicle control, navigation, RT mapping and autonomy, sensors and mission payloads. In addition to ambushing and attacking on command, this combat ready platform, developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), can raise its body four feet in the air to tackle obstacles or crouch down 23 inches to hide from enemies. It may be focused on the sky, but Israel Aerospace Industries has stepped down on land to develop the newest member of its unmanned ground robotic systems family. RoBattle is a combat and support robot equipped with a'robotic kit' of vehicle control, navigation, RT mapping and autonomy, sensors and mission payloads RoBattle, is an semi-autonomous combat and support robot designed to assist ground soldiers in the field.