Understanding The AI Warfare And Its Implications

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(John Moore/Getty Images)
(John Moore/Getty Images)

There’s a new kind of global arms race underway.

Artificial intelligence-enabled armies are being designed and planned — right now. China is determined to dominate the AI battlefield of tomorrow, and Robert Work, co-chair of the National Security Commission on AI, is ringing the alarm bells:

"We are not organized to win this competition. We just are not," he says. "We have got to take this competition seriously, and we need to win it."

The Pentagon promises to build an "ethical" AI army. Journalist Patrick Tucker with Defense One says that won’t be easy.

"The real worst-case scenario is that different governments deploy AI that isn't well thought through," he says. "So don't worry about being evil. Worry about it being fast and stupid. And that is a much easier worst-case scenario to realize, especially in the next three to four years."

Today, On Point: the coming AI war.


Gen. John M. Murray, commanding general of the United States Army Futures Command.

Patrick Tucker, technology editor for Defense One. (@DefTechPat)

Heather Roff, special governmental expert for the Defense Innovation Board who wrote the Department of Defense's AI Ethical Principles. (@HMRoff)

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Gilman Louie, commissioner on the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. Co-founder and Partner of Alsop Louie Partners, an early-stage technology venture capital firm. (@gglouie)

Mikel Rodriguez, machine learning researcher at MITRE, an operator of federally funded research and development centers.

From The Reading List

Defense One: "2021 Is the Year the Small Drone Arms Race Heats Up" — "As drones become smarter, cheaper, more nimble, easier for rogue adversaries to acquire and more advanced adversaries to evolve, they pose a unique threat for the U.S. military that grows in importance as the objects themselves diminish in size. This year, trends in autonomy will reshape drone capabilities and concepts, making them more offensively useful and even harder to defend against."

Defense One: "China Features Heavily in the Army’s Next Big Emerging Tech Experiment" — "The Army will expand its emerging technology experiment this fall, bringing in more operators, more stealth aircraft, Navy standard missiles and new AI tools, and will focus heavily on defeating a high-tech adversary with a striking resemblance to China."

This program aired on July 29, 2021.

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Stefano Kotsonis Senior Producer, On Point
Stefano Kotsonis is a senior producer for WBUR's On Point.


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Meghna Chakrabarti Host, On Point
Meghna Chakrabarti is the host of On Point.



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