Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Peace

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Book Chapter

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This chapter examines artificial intelligence (AI – that is, mathematical models for representing problems on computers and algorithms for finding solutions to these problems) and its consequences for an arms race (that is, each nation is focused on self-interest in seeking an incremental gain over another for technological superiority of weapons). In the absence of cooperation, all nations are worse off than if they would be if they cooperated in some form. This chapter overviews how AI’s unique technological characteristics – including speed, scale, automation, and anonymity – could promote an arms race towards cyber singularity (that is, a hypothetical point where AI achieves Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), that surpasses human intelligence to become uncontrollable and irreversible). AI technological advancements has generated a good deal of attention about the AI arms race and its potential for producing revolutionary military applications. While the AI arms race has raised implications for cyber peace, a less studied issue is the potential impact on AGI development in cybersecurity, or cyber singularity. While there is some hype and a development time period towards cyber singularity, the results are generally viewed as negative or, at worst, destabilizing or even catastrophic for cyber peace.

Notwithstanding such limitations, there is still huge potential for use of technological advancements in AI for civilian, consumer-focused applications, and for the inevitable advancements in nations’ military and security technologies. Economic competition for AI has already motivated its development and implementation by the private sector. This has contributed to the imbalance of the economic dominance by industrialized countries. Innovative companies and countries that focus on AI development may begin to monopolize AI knowledge and take the lead towards cyber singularity, which could thwart cyber peace. AI has also become an essential component of cybersecurity, as it has become a tool used by both attackers and defenders alike. In the future, the more advanced form of AGI, or super technological intelligence, could develop its own understanding of the world and react to it in a rapid and uncontrollable way without human involvement. Advancement toward cyber singularity could present new military capabilities, such as manipulation of data and overcoming other nations’ defenses, and transform interactions in cyber conflict. While is difficult to detect or measure the origination or proliferation of AI in cybersecurity, whatever possible cooperation among nations that can be promoted is certainly worth exploring. Thus, this chapter explores how shared governance through talent mobilization in the form of a global AI service corps can offset the negative impact of nation-states’ economic competition to develop AGI.