Dr. Lora Saalman spoke in Chinese at Fudan University in Shanghai on March 28 on the impact of artificial intelligence and autonomy on nuclear dynamics between China and the United States.
This talk built upon her two presentations at the Center for a New American Security and as part of the Origins Project at Arizona State University. Speaking of these China and U.S.-based events, she noted that “There is a fundamental disconnect in how Chinese and U.S. strategists approach the concept of meaningful human control, or keeping a 'human in the loop.' As autonomy is increasingly introduced as an enabler into weapon systems, there is a great deal of discussion in the West on how to guarantee that humans maintain control of these platforms. Meanwhile, Chinese technical journals indicate that automation and autonomy are being introduced into platforms, with limited to no discussion of meaningful human control. In reacting to concerns over high-speed and high-precision attacks from the United States, there is a danger that China’s sizable advances in artificial intelligence and autonomy may be prematurely and comprehensively integrated to stave off the threat of being caught off guard. Such advances have the potential for altering China’s long-held nuclear posture and command and control, particularly in the wake of the U.S. shifting its own nuclear strategy under the recent U.S. Nuclear Posture Review."