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James Johnson

What is AI, and how does it differ from other technologies? What are the possible development paths and linkages between these technologies and specific capabilities, both existing and under development? This chapter defines and categorizes the current state of AI and AI-enabling technologies. 1 The chapter highlights the centrality of machine learning (ML), 2 and autonomous systems (or ‘machine autonomy’), 3 to understanding AI in the military sphere and the potential uses of these nuanced approaches in

in Artificial intelligence and the future of warfare
James Johnson

How might AI-infused cyber capabilities be used to subvert, or otherwise compromise, the reliability, control, and use of states’ nuclear forces? This chapter argues that AI-enhanced cyber capabilities could increase the risk of inadvertent escalation caused by the co-mingling of nuclear and non-nuclear weapons, and the increasing speed of warfare. 1 It examines the potential implications of cyber (offensive and defensive) capabilities augmented with AI applications for nuclear security. The chapter finds

in Artificial intelligence and the future of warfare
James Johnson

How can we best conceptualize AI and military technological change in the context of nuclear weapons? Despite being theoretically and politically contested to this day, the notion of ‘strategic stability’ has proven a useful intellectual tool for analyzing the potential for new, powerful, and technically advanced weapons to undermine stability between nuclear-armed adversaries. 1 The concept entered into the nuclear lexicon during the early 1950s and is inextricably connected to the strategic thinking and

in Artificial intelligence and the future of warfare
James Johnson

Will AI-augmented technology increase the risk of military escalation between great military rivals? 1 This chapter argues that the fusion of AI-enhanced technologies with both nuclear and conventional capabilities will be destabilizing, and that this problem will be exacerbated by the fact that China and the US have divergent views of the escalation risks of co-mingled (or ‘entangled’) nuclear and conventional capabilities. 2 From what we know about the advances in military AI today, AI

in Artificial intelligence and the future of warfare
The USA, China, and strategic stability
Author: James Johnson

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.

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Self-Driving Cars in Cinematic Imaginaries
Sonia Campanini

Self-driving cars have long been depicted in cinematic narratives, across genres from science fiction films to fantasy films. In some cases, a self-driving car is personified as one of the main characters. This article examines cinematic representations and imaginaries in order to understand the development of the self-driving technology and its integration in contemporary societies, drawing on examples such as The Love Bug, Knight Rider, Minority Report and I, Robot. Conceptually and methodologically, the article combines close readings of films with technological concerns and theoretical considerations, in an attempt to grasp the entanglement of cinematographic imaginaries, audiovisual technologies, artificial intelligence and human interactions that characterise the introduction of self-driving cars in contemporary societies. The human–AI machine interaction is considered both on technological and theoretical levels. Issues of automation, agency and disengagement are traced in cinematic representations and tackled, calling into question the concepts of socio-technical assemblage.

Film Studies
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Opening the AI Pandora’s box
James Johnson

The hype surrounding AI 1 has made it easy to overstate the opportunities and challenges posed by the development and deployment of AI in the military sphere. 2 Many of the risks posed by AI in the nuclear domain today are not necessarily new. That is, recent advances in AI (especially machine learning (ML) techniques) exacerbate existing risks to escalation and stability rather than generating entirely new ones. While AI could enable significant improvements in many military domains – including the nuclear enterprise

in Artificial intelligence and the future of warfare
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Managing an AI future
James Johnson

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 emerging technologies

in Artificial intelligence and the future of warfare
James Johnson

Why does the US view China’s progress in dual-use AI as a threat to its first-mover advantage? How might the US respond to this perceived threat? This chapter considers the intensity of US–China strategic competition playing out within a broad range of AI and AI-enabling technologies (e.g. machine learning (ML), 5G networks, autonomy and robotics, quantum computing, and big-data analytics). 1 It describes how great-power competition is mounting within several dual-use high-tech fields, why these

in Artificial intelligence and the future of warfare
James Johnson

Part III of the book includes four case studies to elucidate the escalation risks associated with AI. These studies demonstrate how and why military AI systems fused with advanced strategic non-nuclear weapons (or conventional counterforce capabilities) might cause or exacerbate escalation risks in future warfare. 1 They also illuminate how these AI-augmented capabilities would work; despite the risks associated with their deployment, great military powers will likely deploy them. Military commanders

in Artificial intelligence and the future of warfare