Facing growing threats from Russia and China, the Defense Department wants to increase its collaboration with European allies as it pursues new artificial intelligence technology.
Lt. Gen. John NT. "Jack" Shanahan, director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, said global security challenges and technological innovations are changing the world rapidly. That reality means partner nations must work more closely together in areas such as artificial intelligence.
"AI--like the major technology innovations of the past--has enormous potential to strengthen the NATO alliance," he said in January during a call with reporters. "The deliberate actions we take in the coming years with responsible AI adoption will ensure our militaries keep pace with digital modernization and remain interoperable in the most complex and consequential missions."
A stronger alliance between the United States and Europe on AI research is particularly important as Russia and China collaborate in their pursuit of new tech, he said.
Both Beijing and Moscow are cooperating on artificial intelligence in ways that threaten the United States and NATO's shared values and risk accelerating digital authoritarianism, Shanahan said.
China is using the technology to strengthen its censorship over its citizens and quash freedom of expression and human rights, he said. It is also facilitating the sale of Al-enabled autonomous weapons in the global arms market, which lowers the barrier of entry for potential adversaries and could place AI systems in the hands of non-state actors, he added.
"Perhaps most concerning, Chinese technology companies, including Huawei, are compelled to cooperate with its Communist Party's intelligence and security services no matter where the company operates," Shanahan said.
Meanwhile, Russia has shown a "greater willingness to disregard international ethical norms and to develop systems that pose destabilizing risks to international security," he said. Moscow is using automation for global disinformation campaigns and to develop lethal autonomous weapon systems, he noted.
"These security challenges and the technological innovations that are changing our world should compel likeminded nations to shape the future of the international order in the digital age, and vigorously promote AI for our shared values," he said.
However, he recognized that on both sides of the Adantic there are concerns about the military application of artificial intelligence.