NATO's new AI strategy: lacking in substance and lacking in leadership

8 November 2021

By Peter Burt

The October 2021 meeting of NATO's Defence Ministers in Brussels (see NATO Watch Briefing no.87) saw Ministers agreeing to adopt NATO’s new strategy for Artificial Intelligence (AI).  The strategy is a first for NATO and is designed to set out how NATO will apply AI in its security role “in a protected and ethical way”. 

NATO has already started work on the adoption of AI with its Military Uses of Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Robotics project and establishment of the NATO Data Science Centre, whilst various member states are rapidly taking forward their own programmes to develop military AI systems.  Earlier this year NATO Defence Ministers endorsed a strategy on emerging and disruptive technologies – including AI – which will guide NATO's development of such technologies.  The clearly stated purpose of developing these technologies is to maintain military superiority and a technological advantage.

The centrepiece of NATO's AI strategy is a set of principles intended ensure that AI is used responsibly by NATO and its allies, and in accordance with international law and the alliance’s values.  The strategy also discusses threats posed by the use of AI by NATO's adversaries, and how to improve co-operation with the tech sector on AI development.

For further details see the attached PDF

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