National Security Commission warns the US is not prepared to 'defend or compete in the AI era'

National Security Commission warns the US is not prepared to 'defend or compete in the AI era'
Royalty-free stock photo ID: 267582539 Business Human and Robot hands in handshake. Artificial intelligence technology Design Concept.

The National Security Commission has issued a detailed warning about the United States' lack of preparedness for the artificial intelligence (A.I.) era.

According to CNBC News, the National Security Commission on A.I. on Monday, March 1, released a 756-page assessment that warned about the possibility of China taking over the global stage as "the world's A.I. superpower'" which could subsequently lead to serious implications for the U.S. military that the government needs to consider addressing.


Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, and the group's vice-chair Bob Work, insist the United States must prepare to face a difficult reality in the A.I. era. "America is not prepared to defend or compete in the AI era," wrote Schmidt. "This is the tough reality we must face."

The report goes on to urge President Joe Biden to consider rejecting a treaty that would place a globalized ban on "highly controversial AI-powered autonomous weapons" as the group of experts believe other countries like China and Russia would not commit to upholding any signed treaties.

According to Schmidt and Work, artificial intelligence systems will likely be used for the "pursuit of power" and "will not stay in the domain of superpowers or the realm of science fiction." They wrote, "We will not be able to defend against AI-enabled threats without ubiquitous AI capabilities and new warfighting paradigms."

However, there have been opposing views on the topic of artificial intelligence systems.

The latest report comes six years after Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey along with thousands of researchers and computer specialists and scientists openly expressed support for a ban being placed on "offensive autonomous weapons."

The letter read, "AI technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is — practically if not legally — feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms."

In an interview with CNBC News, Samim Wagner, an AI researcher in Berlin also expressed great concern about the dangers of adopting artificial intelligence weapons as he pushed back against Schmidt's assessment.

″[Adopting AI weapons] is brutal insanity and everyone knows it, yet think tank staffers from DC to Beijing keep assuring us it's 'progress and necessary,'" Wagner said.

He added, "A real discussion around 'how AI can help to promote peace globally' is what is truly required — but you certainly won't find it on the agenda of Pentagon operatives or intelligence agency billionaires like the Eric Schmidts of the world."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.