September 25, 2019 — National and international security are increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence, but U.S. security interests will suffer if the United States doesn’t work with its allies to invest wisely in AI capabilities, leading figures from the intelligence and defense communities said today at Georgetown University.
The leaders spoke at the George T. Kalaris Intelligence Conference, co-hosted this year by Georgetown’s Center for Security Studies and the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), a newly-established think tank.
Among the dozen experts providing insights were keynote speakers Sue Gordon, who until this summer was Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.
Together with panelists representing a range of national security experience, they explored the emergence of increasingly powerful AI systems and the challenges and opportunities they present for the United States and other nations.
“This conference brought together the national security community, scientists and industry to consider the security impacts of AI,” said Jason Matheny, founding director of CSET and former director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. “Addressing these challenges will require continued research and collaboration among these communities, and CSET is dedicated to providing a space for those vital conversations.”
“The impact of artificial intelligence on international security is hard to exaggerate yet also difficult to predict,” explained Keir A. Lieber, associate professor in the Walsh School of Foreign Service and director of the Center for Security Studies. “That is why now is the time to investigate key questions about the role of AI in intelligence operations, government and private industry collaboration, and interstate competition. As our expert speakers noted, the U.S. national security community must remain at the forefront of these efforts – falling behind will imperil our vital interests.”
CSET Senior Fellows Tarun Chhabra and Melissa Flagg, Distinguished Fellow Stephanie O’Sullivan and Research Fellow Jack Clark were among the panelists addressing international cooperation and competition in AI, public-private partnerships in this field and other timely topics.
Speakers also included Assistant Secretary of State Ellen McCarthy; former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig; former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Stephanie O’Sullivan; and Raj Shah, co-founder and CEO of Arceo Analytics.
The 2019 Kalaris Intelligence Conference is jointly organized by the Center for Security Studies and the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), both housed in Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.
The Center for Security Studies aims to teach a new generation of analysts, policymakers, and scholars to think critically and act responsibly in the face of the 21st century’s most pressing national and international security problems.
The newly launched CSET is a research organization that provides nonpartisan analysis to policymakers and aims to prepare the next generation of policymakers, analysts, and diplomats to address the challenges and opportunities of emerging technologies. CSET is part of Georgetown’s Tech & Society Initiative, which leverages extensive intellectual resources at the intersection of technology, ethics, law and public policy to empower practitioners to test, model, and scale cutting-edge projects and deepen conversations to shape technology’s promise for a better world.
“Advances in AI are like the shifts in the tectonic plates that will remake the global order,” said School of Foreign Service Dean Joel Hellman. “This conference brings together the community to discuss these important issues.”