Thumbnail Image

Understanding the strategic implications of the weaponization of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to have a revolutionary impact across societies and to create economic displacement and disruption in security and defense. Yet the impact of AI on national security and military affairs has received relatively scant attention. The existing policy-focused literature has concentrated mainly on the technological, ethical or legal limitations of deploying AI and on the risks associated with it. This paper seeks to contribute to the debate by outlining the strategic implications of the weaponization of AI for international security. It explores how and in what ways AI is currently being utilized in the defense sector to enhance offensive and defensive military technologies and operations and assesses the ways in which the incorporation of AI into military platforms will affect war fighting and strategic decision-making. The paper is in four sections. Section one develops a typology of military AI that forms a foundation for the rest of the paper. The second section examines the uses of AI in cyberspace and the relationships between ‘cyber weapons’ and AI capabilities. The third section examines how the embeddedness of AI-based capabilities across the land, air, naval and space domains may affect combined arms operations. The final section distills the main strategic implications of weaponized AI, which include the speed of decision-making and action as well as enhanced domain situational awareness.
Conference Contribution
Type of thesis
NATO CCDCOE Publications
© 2019 NATO CCD COE Publications. Used with permission.