OPINION — “Americans have not yet seriously grappled with how profoundly the AI (Artificial Intelligence) revolution will impact society, the economy, and national security,” is one of the opening sentences of the draft final report from the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence that is now being publicly circulated for comment.
Set up by Congress in 2018, the Commission was tasked “to consider the methods and means necessary to advance the development of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and associated technologies to comprehensively address the national security and defense needs of the United States.”
Chaired by Eric Schmidt, the former CEO and chairman of Google, with former Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work as vice chairman, one of the Commission’s studies has been of the “risks associated with United States and foreign country advances in military employment of artificial intelligence and machine learning, including international law of armed conflict, international humanitarian law, and escalation dynamics.”
Finding that “AI-enabled systems will likely increase the pace and automation of warfare across the board,” one of the Commission’s most dramatic recommendations is for American leadership to “clearly and publicly affirm existing U.S. policy that only human beings can authorize employment of nuclear weapons and seek similar commitments from Russia and China.”
The Commission added, “The United States should make a clear, public statement that decisions to authorize nuclear weapons employment must only be made by humans, not by