HomeArtificial IntelligenceArtificial Intelligence NewsNATO starts AI drive to provide tech edge

NATO starts AI drive to provide tech edge

Two NATO agencies recently launched a project to better understand artificial intelligence and its potential military applications.

The NATO Science and Technology Organization and the NATO Communications and Information Agency are collaborating with more than 80 AI experts, researchers, and academics from the United States and other NATO member countries on the project, known as strategic “horizon scanning.”

This month, the NCI Agency’s data science and AI facilities in The Hague, Netherlands, hosted an inaugural meeting and workshop.

AI is one of the key emerging and disruptive technologies identified by NATO as critical for NATO’s technological edge, said NATO Chief Scientist Bryan Wells in a statement. By collaborating, the STO and the NCI Agency can bring together global experts to ensure that the very best scientific expertise is available to advise NATO and its allies and partners on the most recent scientific trends in this area.

The NATO guarantee of collective defense and the advantage of numbers, both on the battlefield and in the laboratory, has been much discussed in the aftermath of Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine and Finland and Sweden’s subsequent membership applications.

NATO ministers approved the alliance’s first-ever AI strategy in October, describing the capability as “changing the global defense and security environment” and providing an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen our technological edge while also escalating the speed of the threats we face.

The strategy emphasizes the responsible use of artificial intelligence for defense across six tenets: lawfulness, responsibility and accountability, explainability and traceability, reliability, governability, and bias mitigation.

AI frameworks and other guidelines developed by the United States and its defense community follow a similar pattern.

In 2019, NATO allies agreed to focus on seven emerging and disruptive technologies, including data, computing, and artificial intelligence (AI). Officials said that ensuring shared standards and that systems will communicate with one another will be critical to success.

One of the big challenges as we move into this new phase of disruptive technologies is keeping allies on the same page when it comes to communicating with each other, using the same technology, and being interoperable, David van Weel, NATO assistant secretary-general for emerging security challenges, told Defense News in March 2021. So that’s a big part of the strategy, and NATO has a big role to play.

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