New Report: Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy in the Military

The report “Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy in the Military: An Overview of NATO Member States’ Strategies and Deployment” and associated document “Appendix A – Country Profiles” offers a high-level view of the role of AI-enabled and autonomous technologies in the militaries of NATO Allies as of January 2021. It is the first academic work of this kind that focuses specifically on military AI in NATO countries.

The report provides a snapshot of the perspectives and ambitions held by each NATO nation in relation to military AI and outlines their current use of AI technologies. In the Appendix A, the report explores how far each country has engaged with AI in the context of the military and defence, examining national AI strategies and publicly accessible sources on current use of AI-enabled technologies.

The policy implications of the research are as follows:

  • Encouraging responsible AI norms: As a consensus-based Alliance, NATO is uniquely placed to facilitate discussions on security and military AI, and has the opportunity to coordinate norm-building activities between members.
  • AI adoption: NATO represents a valuable mechanism through which capability-building guidance and wider assistance may be provided to members on demand.
  • Collaboration for resilience: Greater Allied collaboration may enable states to leverage capability building efforts and better face the security challenges associated with AI technologies.
  • Maintaining collective defence: A widening capability gap in AI-enabled technologies may result in some member states being relatively less equipped to respond to a faster conflict environment in which adversaries increasingly leverage AI-enabled and autonomous systems.
  • Focus on future interoperability: Siloed innovation raises future interoperability challenges for the Alliance, for example in terms of sharing data and AI applications in multinational operations.

This publication is a product of the CCDCOE. It does not necessarily reflect the policy or the opinion of the Centre or NATO. The Centre may not be held responsible for any loss or harm arising from the use of information contained in this publication and is not responsible for the content of the external sources, including external websites referenced in this publication.