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Hastings Science and Technology Law Journal

Abstract

Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications in modern warfare have revolutionized national security power dynamics between the United States, China, Russia, and the private industry. The United States has fallen behind in military technologies and is now at the mercy of big technology companies to maintain peace. After committing $150 billion toward the goal of becoming the AI technology world leader, China claimed success in 2018. In 2019, Chinese researchers published open-source code for AI missile systems controlled by deep reinforcement learning algorithms. Further, Russia’s continued interference in United States’ elections has largely been driven by AI applications in cybersecurity. Yet, despite outspending Russia and China combined on defense, the United States is failing to keep pace with foreign adversaries in the AI arms race.

Previous legal scholarship dismisses AI militarization as futuristic science-fiction, accepting without support the United States’ prominence as the world leader in military technology. This inter-disciplinary article provides three main contributions to legal scholarship. First, this is the first piece in legal scholarship to take an informatics-based approach toward analyzing the range of AI applications in modern warfare. Second, this is the first piece in legal scholarship to take an informatics-based approach in analyzing national security policy. Third, this is the first piece to explore the complex power and security dynamics between the United States, China, Russia, and private corporations in the AI arms race. Ultimately, a new era of advanced weaponry is developing, and the United States Government is sitting on the sidelines.

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