Militaries seek to harness artificial intelligence for decision advantage. Yet AI systems introduce a new source of uncertainty in the likelihood of technical failures. Such failures could interact with strategic and human factors in ways that lead to miscalculation and escalation in a crisis or conflict. Harnessing AI effectively requires managing these risk trade-offs by reducing the likelihood, and containing the consequences of, AI failures.
This report examines nearly 350 artificial intelligence-related equipment contracts awarded by the People’s Liberation Army and state-owned defense enterprises in 2020 to assess how the Chinese military is adopting AI. The report identifies China’s key AI defense industry suppliers, highlights gaps in U.S. export control policies, and contextualizes the PLA’s AI investments within China’s broader strategy to compete militarily with the United States.
Militaries around the world have often relied on the largest global defense companies to acquire and integrate cutting-edge technologies. This issue brief examines the investment and mergers and acquisition activities in artificial intelligence of the top 50 global defense companies — a key, if limited, approach to accessing AI innovation in the commercial sector — and assesses investment trends of their corporate venture capital subsidiaries and offers a geographic breakdown of defense companies and their AI target companies.
As multinational collaboration on emerging technologies takes center stage, U.S. allies and partners must overcome the technological, bureaucratic, and political barriers to working together. This report assesses the challenges to multinational collaboration and explains how joint projects centered on artificial intelligence applications for military logistics and sustainment offer a viable path forward.
As the U.S. military integrates artificial intelligence into its systems and missions, there are outstanding questions about the role of trust in human-machine teams. This report examines the drivers and effects of such trust, assesses the risks from too much or too little trust in intelligent technologies, reviews efforts to build trustworthy AI systems, and offers future directions for research on trust relevant to the U.S. military.
National security leaders view AI as a priority technology for defending the United States. This two-part analysis is intended to help policymakers better understand the scope and implications of U.S. military investment in autonomy and AI. It focuses on the range of autonomous and AI-enabled technologies the Pentagon is developing, the military capabilities these applications promise to deliver, and the impact that such advances could have on key strategic issues.
This brief examines how the Pentagon’s investments in autonomy and AI may affect its military capabilities and strategic interests. It proposes that DOD invest in improving its understanding of trust in human-machine teams and leverage existing AI technologies to enhance military readiness and endurance. In the long term, investments in reliable, trustworthy, and resilient AI systems are critical for ensuring sustained military, technological, and strategic advantages.
The Pentagon has a wide range of research and development programs using autonomy and AI in unmanned vehicles and systems, information processing, decision support, targeting functions, and other areas. This policy brief delves into the details of DOD’s science and technology program to assess trends in funding, key areas of focus, and gaps in investment that could stymie the development and fielding of AI systems in operational settings.
Today’s research and development investments will set the course for artificial intelligence in national security in the coming years. This Executive Summary presents key findings and recommendations from CSET’s two-part analysis of U.S. military investments in autonomy and AI, including our assessment of DOD’s research priorities, trends and gaps, as well as ways to ensure U.S. military leadership in AI in the short and the long term.
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