Artificial intelligence and the future of warfare offers an innovative and counter-intuitive study of how and why AI-infused weapon systems will affect the strategic stability between nuclear-armed states. The book demystifies the hype surrounding AI in the context of nuclear weapons and, more broadly, future warfare. It highlights the potential, multifaceted intersections of this and other disruptive technology – robotics and autonomy, cyber, drone swarming, big-data analytics, and quantum communications – with nuclear stability. Anticipating and preparing for the consequences of the AI-empowered weapon systems is, therefore, fast becoming a critical task for national security and statecraft. The book considers the impact of these trends on deterrence, military escalation, and strategic stability between nuclear-armed states – especially China and the US. Surprisingly little research considers how AI might affect nuclear-armed states’ perceptions of others’ intentions, rational choices, or strategic decision-making psychology. The book addresses these topics and more. It provides penetrating, nuanced, and valuable insights grounded in the latest multi-disciplinary research. The book draws on a wealth of political and cognitive science, strategic studies, and technical analysis to shed light on the coalescence of developments in AI and other disruptive emerging technologies. It sketches a clear picture of the potential impact of AI on the digitized battlefield and broadens our understanding of critical questions for international affairs. AI will profoundly change how wars are fought, and how decision-makers think about nuclear deterrence, escalation management, and strategic stability – but not for the reasons you might think.
This book has advanced the case for narrow AI as a
fundamentally destabilizing force, which could increase the risk of nuclear war. It has
explained how, left unchecked, the uncertainties created by the rapid proliferation and
diffusion of AI into advanced weapon systems will become a significant source of future
instability and great-power (especially US–China) strategic competition. The book has
conceptualized recent technological developments in AI with the broader spectrum of emergingtechnologies
to probe future patterns of the assemblage of technology, participation and urban space by speculating on the future of urban living, as we negotiate the tension between emergingtechnologies – sensor technologies, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and biotechnology – and the desires, needs, rights and ethical concerns of citizens. This is not an easy task, due to the fast pace of social and cultural transformations imposed by digitally mediated communication technologies in the last decades. When speculating about future scenarios in urban space
Towards this end, the chapter unpacks the following research puzzles. How
might AI and other advanced or emergingtechnologies exacerbate the co-mingling problem-set?
How concerned is China about inadvertent or accidental escalation? How serious are the
escalation risks arising from entanglement in a US–China crisis or conflict scenario?
How can the US, China, or others mitigate the escalation risks exacerbated by the advent of
AI technologies? In this way, the chapter sketches a roadmap for a journey that US and
within the broad spectrum of military technologies associated with the ‘computer
revolution.’ It argues that military AI and the advanced capabilities it enables are
best viewed as a natural manifestation of an established trend in emergingtechnology. Even
if AI does not become the next revolution in military affairs, it could have significant
implications for the central pillars of nuclear deterrence.
Strategic stability: a platonic ideal?
Combining cognition, stress, strategic culture,
wargaming, and game
and kinship is vital if we are going to fully utilise the data available from emergingtechnologies such as the exploration of ancient DNA. As technology becomes more sophisticated so must archaeological approaches to the social situations and social dynamics of past peoples.
tethers the book’s core arguments into a robust analytical framework. It
contextualizes AI within the broad spectrum of military technologies associated with the
‘computer revolution.’ The chapter describes the notion of ‘military
AI’ as a natural manifestation of an established trend in emergingtechnology. Even if
AI does not become the next revolution in military affairs, and its trajectory is more
incremental and prosaic, the implications for the central pillars of nuclear deterrence could
still be profound.
reality, augmented reality, robotic technologies, Internet-enabled mobile phones, social media apps and cameras with laser scanning technology (LIDAR).
The future machines conceptualised by performance art assemble these technologies with cultural references and speculative scenarios to imagine the future of urban living. These future machines – speculative and intangible as they may be – are important probes to think about the ethical, social and spatial consequences of emergingtechnologies. Online virtual worlds, social media and data-mining coupled with vast
capability of this kind will be operational for the
foreseeable future. 39 For now, however,
the technical feasibility of this hypothesis remains highly contested. On the one hand,
several experts posit that emergingtechnologies such as AI, quantum communications, and
big-data analytics will empower new iterations of highly portable sensing, communications,
and signal-processing platforms that could render at-sea nuclear deterrence all but
On the other hand, some consider this hypothesis technically
Disentangling risk assessment: new roles for
experts and publics
Sarah Hartley, Adam Kokotovich
Risk assessment is an important stage of risk governance, alongside
risk characterisation, risk evaluation and risk management. A burgeoning literature on public involvement in risk governance and sciencebased policymaking more broadly has developed in response to tensions
in governing environmental risk, particularly the environmental risks
posed by emergingtechnologies (Irwin, 2014; Levidow, 2007; Renn
and Schweizer, 2009; Rothstein, 2013; Wynne, 2006). However