Hurd, Kelly, BPC, CSET Release National Security Guidelines on Artificial Intelligence

July 30, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Reps. Will Hurd (R-Texas), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology released guidelines for national security considerations that must be addressed in a national AI strategy. Their findings identified key areas for improvement in defense and intelligence to put the nation on a path to large-scale development and deployment of AI tools in promoting national security.

The report, Artificial Intelligence and National Security, calls for securing competitive military and intelligence advantages through AI applications with an emphasis on human-machine teaming, trustworthiness and ethics.  It also identifies opportunities for international collaboration in AI to set standards and strengthen alliances. This is the second report released as part of the joint effort to create a well-rounded national AI strategy. The first report, AI and the Workforce, was released on July 23, 2020.

“American adversaries are investing in AI. In fact, President Vladimir Putin said whomever is the global leader in AI ‘will be the ruler of the world.’ We cannot allow Russia, China or other adversaries to invest in AI as America stands on the sidelines. To protect our national security, we must invest in the research and development of AI across our security infrastructure. As a former undercover CIA officer, I learned that understanding the motivations of our adversaries are critical to our ability to contain and counteract them. We know Russia and China are investing in AI, we must do more,” said Hurd.

"Technological advances have always changed the way we defend ourselves. As artificial intelligence and associated technologies fundamentally reshape the 21st century battlefield, it's vital that America remains on the cutting edge of this technological development and the application of appropriate ethics for the use of AI within the armed services and the intelligence community," said Kelly.

“Advances in artificial intelligence are already impacting our national and international security," said BPC President, Jason Grumet. "The United States must move aggressively to keep pace with our adversaries and competitors while adhering to the heightened standards of safety and trust that are required in a democracy. This report outlines critical steps to promote an open, stable international environment for scientific research while protecting critical technologies and national security."

"Recognizing how important AI will be for the future of U.S. national security is the easy part; figuring out what to do about it is much harder. By tackling this issue on a bipartisan basis, this work has identified key areas for action. Now it's up to Congress to act on them,” said Helen Toner, Director of Strategy, Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET).

This report is part of a series on artificial intelligence issues that will be released in coming weeks. In preparing these studies, BPC and its partners worked with government officials, industry representatives, civil society advocates and academics to better understand the range of challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as AI technology comes into more widespread use.

The goal of BPC’s effort is to suggest concrete steps policymakers could take to advance responsible development of AI, building on the work done by the Obama and Trump administrations in recent years.

The White paper entitled, “Artificial Intelligence and National Security” is available here.