Virtual Library

Our virtual library is an online repository of all of the reports, papers, and briefings that IST has produced, as well as works that have influenced our thinking.

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Reports

Unlocking U.S. Technological Competitiveness: Public-Private Misalignments in Biotechnology, Energy, and Quantum Sectors

Ben Purser, Pavneet Singh

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Reports

Effects of Electromagnetic Pulses on Communication Infrastructure: An IST Primer

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Reports

How Does Access Impact Risk? Assessing AI Foundation Model Risk Along a Gradient of Access

Zoë Brammer, along with contributors from the AI Foundation Model Access Working Group

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Fact Sheet

DOD and SBA Launch the Small Business Investment Company Critical Technology (SBICCT) Initiative

Strategic Balancing Initiative

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Fact Sheet

White House Releases Outbound Investment Executive Order

Strategic Balancing Initiative

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Reports

Strengthening Resilience in 21st Century Crisis Communications

Alexa Wehsener, Sylvia Mishra

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Fact Sheet

DoD Releases the National Defense Science and Technology Strategy

Strategic Balancing Initiative

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We also welcome additional suggestions from readers, and will consider adding further resources as so much of our work has come through crowd-sourced collaboration already. If, for any chance you are an author whose work is listed here and you do not wish it to be listed in our repository, please, let us know.

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AI and the Military: Forever Altering Strategic Stability

Institute for Security and Technology, Center for Global Security Research

SUMMARY

Artificial intelligence has burst upon the national security scene with an intensity to surprise even the most veteran observers of the national policy discourse. The renewed spike of interest is driven in part by popular characterizations of novel AI techniques as revolutionary; by the rapid absorption of nascent AI-based technologies – primarily driven by novel machine learning techniques – into diverse sectors of the global economy; but also by the great power ambitions of America’s competitors and potential adversaries. There are mounting fears that the United States is under-prepared to manage these new challenges, and that it will end up “offset” due to the sheer scale at which adversaries intend to deploy AI. Could AI disrupt and reshape the strategic international balance? Will imbalances and changing perceptions of capabilities undermine the status quo of what is needed to maintain strategic stability between near-peer powers? This paper aims to answer some of these questions and contribute to the growing body of research and analysis surrounding AI and warfare, while calibrating the potential risks and rewards of military applications of AI technologies and determining which issues demand further research and action. The questions and arguments framed by this paper were developed via workshops convened by Technology for Global Security and the Center for Global Security Research (CGSR) in June and September 2018. Based in the California Bay Area, these discussions engaged a diverse mix of public and private sector experts in an exploration of the following roles and consequences of AI in the 21st century security context: Which technologies have potential near-term military applications, and which do not? Of those, which are potentially consequential for strategic stability? How, and why? How could AI alter the fundamental calculus of deterrence? How could AI-assisted military platforms affect regional stability, and what is the connection between regional stability and strategic deterrence? How will global competition in applying AI to military missions affect strategic stability? Should we be concerned about an “AI arms race”? What are the risks of unintended consequences and strategic surprise driven by AI?

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