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The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Strategic Stability and Nuclear Risk, Volume I, Euro-Atlantic perspectives

This edited volume focuses on the impact on artificial intelligence (AI) on nuclear strategy. It is the first instalment of a trilogy that explores regional perspectives and trends related to the impact that recent advances in AI could have nuclear weapons and doctrines, strategic stability and nuclear risk. It assembles the views of 14 experts from the Euro-Atlantic community on why and how machine learning and autonomy might become the focus of an armed race among nuclear-armed states; and how the adoption of these technologies might impact their calculation of strategic stability and nuclear risk at the regional level and trans-regional level.


Part I. Demystifying artificial intelligence and its military implications

1. Artificial intelligence: a primer

2. The state of artificial intelligence: an engineer’s perspective on autonomous systems

3. Military applications of machine learning and autonomous systems


Part II. Artificial intelligence and nuclear weapons and doctrines: past, present and future

4. Cold war lessons for automation in nuclear weapon systems

5. The future of machine learning and autonomy in nuclear weapon systems

7. Autonomy in Russian nuclear forces


Part III. Artificial intelligence and strategic stability: Euro-Atlantic perspectives

8. Artificial intelligence and nuclear stability

9. Military applications of artificial intelligence: nuclear risk redux

10. The destabilizing prospects of artificial intelligence for nuclear strategy, deterrence and stability

11. The impact of unmanned combat aerial vehicles on strategic stability

12. Autonomy and machine learning at the interface of nuclear weapons, computers and people

13. Mitigating the challenges of nuclear risk while ensuring the benefits of technology

14. Promises and perils of artificial intelligence for strategic stability and nuclear risk management: Euro-Atlantic perspectives


Dr Vincent Boulanin is Director of the Governance of Artificial Intelligence Programme at SIPRI.
S.M. Amadae is a university lecturer in politics at the University of Helsinki and also holds appointments as a research affiliate with the Science, Technology and Society (STS) programme of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and as associate professor of politics and international relations at Swansea University.
Shahar Avin is a postdoctoral research associate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk of the University of Cambridge.
John Borrie is the research coordinator at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and leads its programme on weapons of mass destruction and other strategic weapons.
Justin Bronk is a research fellow specializing in combat air power and technology at the Royal United Service Institute (RUSI).
Martin Hagström is deputy research director at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut, FOI).
Michael C. Horowitz is professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and the associate director of its Perry World House.
Anja Kaspersen is director of the Geneva Branch of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and deputy secretary general of the Conference on Disarmament.
Chris King is deputy chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch and head of the Science and Technology Unit of UNODA.
Jean-Marc Rickli is the head of global risk and resilience at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP).
Frank Sauer is a senior researcher at Bundeswehr University Munich.
Dimitri Scheftelowitsch is a postdoctoral researcher at TU Dortmund University in the areas of optimal decision-making under uncertainty and mathematical optimization.
Page O. Stoutland is vice-president for scientific and technical affairs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).
Petr Topychkanov is a senior researcher with SIPRI’s Nuclear Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme.