UK Military Publishes AI Defense Strategy: The UK’s Ministry of Defence published its Defence Artificial Intelligence Strategy on June 15, laying out a plan to become “the world’s most effective, efficient, trusted and influential” military of its size when it comes to AI. The plan is the latest in a string of UK strategic documents related to AI — last year’s National AI Strategy sketched out the country’s broader AI plans, while earlier MODdocuments emphasized the importance of AI to the military’s future. But the new MOD strategy is the most detailed description yet of how the UK military plans to incorporate AI throughout its ranks. The plan is structured around four objectives: to transform the MOD into an “AI ready” organization; to “adopt and exploit AI at pace and scale”; to build up the country’s broader national security AI-development ecosystem; and to “promote security, stability and democratic values” in global AI development. The plan goes into significant detail about the structure and function of the recently created Defence AI Centre, which was established last year and reached initial operating capability this April. Because the DAIC is tasked with leading the MOD’s AI development efforts, the strategy cites its continued growth as one of its key priorities and lists closer collaboration with its U.S. counterpart — the DOD’s Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office — as an important goal.
The Pentagon Unveils Its Responsible AI Strategy: Last week, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks signed the Responsible Artificial Intelligence Strategy and Implementation Pathway, which lays out the Pentagon’s plans for implementing “responsible AI” (RAI). In 2020, the DOD introduced its initial list of five ethical principles that should guide its AI efforts — that they be “Responsible,” “Equitable,” “Traceable,” “Reliable” and “Governable.” After President Biden took office last year, the DOD’s new leadership reaffirmed its commitment to the principles and outlined six “foundational tenets” that would guide RAI implementation. But the new 47-page strategy goes into much greater detail about exactly how the Pentagon plans to ensure the principles are upheld while keeping AI development moving at “the speed necessary to meet the National Defense Strategy.” The new strategy lays out specific goals and designates multiple lines of effort (naming offices of responsibility) for each of the six foundational tenets in order to make both organizational responsibilities and the desired results clear. It also describes the role the DOD’s new lead AI entity, the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office, will play in leading the process. The new strategy will probably not be the last we hear from the Pentagon on RAI — the plan says to expect updates as developments in AI research and changes in the structure of the DOD occur.
NATO’s New Strategy Reflects Big Changes Since 2010: During its annual summit this week, the leaders of the NATO allied countries agreed to a new Strategic Concept, a key document that sets the alliance’s priorities and guides its political and military strategy. This year’s Madrid summit has been particularly eventful — on Wednesday, the alliance also announced it had formally invited Finland and Sweden to join — but the importance of the new strategic concept shouldn’t be overlooked. The document is updated roughly once every decade — the previous strategic concept was adopted at the Lisbon summit back in 2010. The new document reflects the changing geopolitical and technological landscape, as well as the vision articulated in the alliance’s NATO 2030 agenda, unveiled last year. The challenges posed by Russia and China receive more attention in the new strategic concept than in the most recent version — indeed, the last one did not even mention China. The new plan is also more focused on technological change than its predecessor, warning that “Emerging and disruptive technologies … are altering the character of conflict, acquiring greater strategic importance and becoming key arenas of global competition.” While it does not mention AI specifically, the document includes pledges to promote emerging technology innovation through increased investment, to cooperate on technological adoption and integration (to that end, NATO leaders are expected to announce a “Defense Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic” soon), to build capacity to overcome supply shocks, and to work with partners to shape standards.
FY2023 NDAA Moving Through Congress: In recent weeks, both the Senate and House Armed Services Committees approved their versions of the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. Both committees approved overall increases relative to the President’s budget request, with SASC authorizing an additional $45 billion and HASC adding $37 billion. While texts of the final versions have not yet been shared publicly, committee summaries shed some light on provisions relevant to AI and emerging technology. The Senate’s version (approved by a vote of 23 to 3) would authorize an additional $70 million for “national network for microelectronics research and development activities,” and an additional $75 million for DARPA to execute on the recommendations of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. While HASC’s adopted version (approved by a vote of 57 to 1) has not yet been released, an earlier summary includes a mandated review of dual-use technologies that the Chinese Communist Party might exploit as well as provisions to bolster diversity in the STEM talent pipeline. HASC also adopted amendments that would establish a pilot program to incorporate defense-critical semiconductors into the National Defense Stockpile and require a briefing on integrating “commercial artificial intelligence … into deployed and next-generation tactical network programs.”
In Translation CSET’s translations of significant foreign language documents on AI
PRC Scientific Research Organization Budget:Chinese Academy of Sciences 2022 Budget. This document is a translation of the 2022 budget for the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a huge PRC government-run complex of scientific research institutes.
PRC Research Oversight Organization Budget:National Natural Science Foundation of China 2022 Annual Budget. This document is a translation of the 2022 budget for the National Natural Science Foundation of China, a government-run body that oversees and audits Chinese scientific research funds, principally those that support basic research.
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House Homeland Security Committee: On June 22, CSET Senior Fellow Andrew Lohn testified before the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation subcommittee at a hearing on “Securing the Future: Harnessing the Potential of Emerging Technologies while Mitigating Security Risks.” Lohn discussed AI’s capabilities in defensive and offensive cyber operations, and its abilities to enhance disinformation campaigns. Read his testimony or watch it here.
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