UpForce

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 5, 2011
Messages
290
Reaction score
224

The strategy has a fourfold aim: To provide a responsible foundation for its use, acceleration and mainstreaming of technology, protection and monitoring of technologies, identifying and safeguarding against malicious use.

Principles of responsible use are laid out as follows: Lawfulness, responsibility and accountability, explainability and traceability, reliability, governability, bias mitigation. This is setting the bar high since with many of these aspects the AI field is already struggling a lot, even when it comes to its most ethically minded practitioners. To make matters more complicated we're in many senses in an AI fog of, if not war exactly, then a somewhat unrecognized conflict at the very least. References are made to this being a whole of society effort but whereas NATO's onus is mostly on defense technology applications, the lines do also get inevitably fuzzy when it comes to malicious corruption, social engineering, financial shenanigans and such which currently are co-ordinated with straightforward military projection against NATO countries and the alliance itself.

Nonetheless, the effort is necessary, timely and I welcome it.

 

shin_getter

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
617
Reaction score
678
Very high level and abstract here.....

There also appears to be no clear response to AI development outside of allied countries. Will AI tech be viewed like the new nuclear power as some would frame it as?
 
Last edited:

UpForce

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 5, 2011
Messages
290
Reaction score
224
There also appears to be no clear response to AI development outside of allied countries.

I 'm guessing this is a recognition of there being no such thing as "NATO specific" AI per se (save, perhaps, for some weapons systems), the field is being developed universally and quite a lot of it is open source. Academia advancing theory publishes its results in papers and research projects also tend to have a presence on GitHub etc. It's more a question of adoption and use, with AI basically the same algorithms can produce very different results given different training data/environments.

As to the abstract (and I must say, somewhat dry) style of the document, this is just a summary. When it gets to the specifics the strategy is classified. On the "principles of responsible use" I first thought NATO set itself up in a world of trouble but in fact the list serves as a very comprehensive summary of known problems, so the intention of tackling these head-on has been built in the effort. I'm impressed since this doesn't presuppose increasing security through confrontation and competition only.
 

UpForce

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 5, 2011
Messages
290
Reaction score
224
I found a summary of a recent report (Russia and the Technological Race in an Era of Great Power Competition, Dominik P. Jankowski, September 14, 2021) - and a link to said report - from CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies) discussing Russia's efforts in AI and the potential of the field itself. It's more wide ranging than that, dealing with all NATO defined "Emerging and Disruptive Technologies" (EDT; data, artificial intelligence, autonomy, space capabilities, hypersonic weapons, quantum, biotechnology and human enhancement, and novel material and manufacturing), of which AI is just one. I'll try and quote the relevant parts here, but the summary is interesting in its entirety.

... exponential increases in the power of computer processors will add more computing power over the next decade than in all of human history combined. This has implications for the military as increasingly sophisticated algorithms (machine learning) will exploit the growing availability of digital content (big data) in a much faster manner and potentially further reduce the role of humans.

... software will steadily reshape the technological race. The modern combat soldier is embedded in a web of software that provides intelligence, communications, logistics, and weapons guidance. Intelligence agencies do large-scale data mining with software to uncover and track potential threats. In particular, this happens due to ongoing developments in the field of deep neural networks.

A neural network is essentially a computer program with hundreds of millions of virtual components connected by virtual wires. These virtual wires have different connection strengths. Neural networks can help measure next-generation AI and machine learning algorithms’ reliability, which can be applied in command and control systems, precision fire, and decision support systems. Moreover, neural networks enhance detection capabilities, such as the autonomous underwater vehicles that are equipped with synthetic aperture sonars used for mine detection.

... the proliferation of portable electronic devices alters the battlefield. They are the fundamental components of numerous systems such as radar, communications, electronic intercept equipment, and weapon guidance seekers.

...

Three structural constraints limit the room for innovation and Russia’s ability to close the gap with technological leaders. Russia’s preference for domestic supply chains limits the markets it can draw from. Declining standards for science and engineering education have led to the decline of leading Russian computer science research institutions—such as Moscow State University—as reflected in global rankings. Finally, sanctions restrict access to international technologies.

...

In October 2012, Russia established the Advanced Research Foundation (Фонд перспективных исследований, FPI) which is roughly analogous to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). The FPI focuses on high payoff technologies, including for the defense sector, such as hypersonic vehicles, AI, unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), cognitive technologies, and directed energy weapons.

...

To enhance military research and development (R&D) as well as science and technology, the Russian Ministry of Defense launched the ERA Technopolis (Технополис ЭРА), a sort of military Silicon Valley created by Vladimir Putin’s 2018 decree. Its priority fields include AI, small spacecraft, robotics, automated control and IT systems, computer science and computer engineering, pattern recognition, information security, energy sufficiency, nanotechnology, and bioengineering.

In recent years, Russia has made the most visible technological progress in hypersonic technology, AI, and autonomous systems.

...

Russia has pursued the development of AI with an increasing sense of urgency. In October 2019, Russia adopted a national strategy for the development of AI through 2030. Russian military specialists in the field of AI applications are increasingly making advances in the use of such technologies, primarily in the maritime context, even as Russian naval power has always taken second priority to its land power. Moscow’s interests in the use of AI to further develop maritime military capabilities relates to the future development of surface and sub-surface platforms that will be fully roboticized.

At a strategic level, Moscow created the National Defense Management Centre (Национальный центр управления обороной РФ), which is the key military command and control node in peacetime and conflict. The center uses AI in its daily functioning to collect and organize information. This is especially interesting as the center also houses the Russian military’s supercomputer, which was acquired to run models that predict the development of ongoing and future wars by analyzing the current security environment and drawing conclusions from past conflicts.

Finally, the Russian military pursues a wide range of autonomous systems and platforms. The development of autonomous systems is currently done in close conjunction with the ongoing works on AI. Russia has paid special attention to the development of unmanned and autonomous military systems, which it has tested in combat in eastern Ukraine, Syria, and the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war. Moreover, Russia has also made some important progress in swarming technology.

...

... Russia will try to increase its industrial partnerships with major non-Western countries, primarily India and China. The goal of the cooperation will be to secure financing and technological cooperation on EDT projects, including those for military purposes.

...

While numerous countries and international organizations, including the United States and NATO, have already adopted or worked on principles of responsible and ethical use of EDTs (concentrating for now primarily on AI), Russia has not taken any concrete actions in this regard. Russian authorities argue that excessive regulation can hamper the pace of development of EDTs, including AI, thus impairing the country’s chances in the technological race. If Russia decides to carry on with the current approach, this will affect both its internal and external policies. Internally, a lack of ethical and moral considerations will help the Russian authorities tighten their autocratic grip over society—for example, through the mass use of surveillance hardware and AI to gather information on and persecute protestors and political opposition. Externally, it might further strengthen its strategic cooperation with China, which shares the same reluctance to include ethical and moral norms in the development efforts of EDTs. At the same time, this might also deepen Russia’s existing isolation and disconnection with the West.

...

In conflict, Russia uses surprise and deception and undertakes asymmetric operations to destabilize, overwhelm, and fracture the adversary. Development of EDTs will allow Russia to further adapt its asymmetric warfare model and employ hybrid instruments against its adversaries, including NATO and its partners. EDTs will enhance deniability, which is the main feature of the Russian hybrid warfare model. AI and big data will be used alongside cyber, information, psychological, and social engineering capabilities as part of cognitive warfare. EDTs will, therefore, help Russia to continue to conduct destabilization campaigns, which are intended to impose conditions of “unpeace” in the Euro-Atlantic space.

This provides an interesting contrast to NATO's AI strategy and at least partially explains its emphasis. The strategy, thankfully, is not only reactive to the above developments and trendlines but takes a constructive view of actively taking technological developments in a desirable direction much beyond defense applications.

 
Last edited:
Top