The Final Report
The mandate of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) is to make recommendations to the President and Congress to “advance the development of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and associated technologies to comprehensively address the national security and defense needs of the United States.”
This Final Report presents the NSCAI's strategy for winning the artificial intelligence era. The 16 chapters in the Main Report provide topline conclusions and recommendations. The accompanying Blueprints for Action outline more detailed steps that the U.S. Government should take to implement the recommendations.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies promise to be the most powerful tools in generations for expanding knowledge, increasing prosperity, and enriching the human experience. The technologies will be the foundation of the innovation economy and a source of enormous power for countries that harness them. AI will fuel competition between governments and companies racing to field it. And it will be employed by nation states to pursue their strategic ambitions.
AI in Context
AI is not a single piece of hardware or software, but rather a constellation of technologies that depend on interrelated elements that can be envisioned as a stack. AI requires talent, data, hardware, algorithms, applications, and integration.
Part 1: Defending America in the AI Era
Emerging Threats in the AI Era
The U.S. government is not prepared to defend the United States in the coming AI era. AI applications are transforming existing threats, creating new classes of threats, and further emboldening state and non-state adversaries to exploit vulnerabilities in our open society.
Foundations of Future Defense
The Department of Defense (DoD) must set an ambitious goal. By 2025, the foundations for widespread integration of AI across DoD must be in place.
AI and Warfare
Even with the right AI-ready technology foundations in place, the U.S. military will still be at a battlefield disadvantage if it fails to adopt the right concepts and operations to employ AI.
Autonomous Weapon Systems and Risks Associated with AI-Enabled Warfare
While AI-enabled and autonomous weapon systems have the potential to provide substantial military and even humanitarian benefit, the United States must take steps, including with allies and competitors, to mitigate strategic risks posed by AI-enabled and autonomous weapon systems.
AI and the Future of National Intelligence
Intelligence will benefit from rapid adoption of AI-enabled technologies more than any other national security mission.
Technical Talent in Government
The United States government needs digital experts now or it will remain unprepared to buy, build, and use AI and its associated technologies.
Establishing Justified Confidence in AI Systems
AI systems must be developed and fielded with justified confidence. The recommendations cover five issue areas: robust and reliable AI; human-AI interaction and teaming; testing and evaluation; leadership; accountability and governance.
Upholding Democratic Values: Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights in Uses of AI for National Security
With new models of techno-authoritarian governance gaining traction abroad, the United States must continue to serve as a beacon of democratic values.
Part 2: Winning the Technology Competition
A Strategy for Competition and Cooperation
AI and other emerging technologies are driving the broader U.S.-China competition. The Commission urges the creation of a new White House body to develop a strategy for U.S. technological competitiveness and to identify areas for international cooperation.
The Talent Competition
The United States is in a global competition for scarce AI and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) talent. The United States needs to invest in all AI talent pipelines in order to remain at the forefront of AI now and into the future.
Accelerating AI Innovation
To remain the world’s leader in AI, the U.S. government must renew its commitment to investing in America’s national strength—innovation. This will require making substantial new investments in AI R&D and establishing a national AI research infrastructure that democratizes access to the resources that fuel AI.
China is both leveraging and exploiting intellectual property (IP) policies as a critical tool within its national strategies for emerging technologies. America’s IP laws and institutions must be considered as critical components for safeguarding U.S. national security interests, including advancing economic prosperity and technology competitiveness.
U.S. leadership in microelectronics is critical to overall U.S. leadership in AI. But the United States is losing its edge and must take bold action to stay at least two generations ahead of potential adversaries and revitalize domestic semiconductor fabrication.
As the margin of U.S. technological advantage narrows and foreign efforts to acquire American know-how and technology increase, the United States must reexamine how it can protect ideas, hardware, and companies, without unduly hindering innovation and research.
A Favorable International Technology Order
The U.S. must work with allies and partners for AI innovation and adoption that advances the international rules-based order, protects free and open societies, and unleashes economic prosperity.
The United States must view its efforts to lead in AI through the broader lens of competition across a range of emerging technologies, and, therefore, also support a comprehensive strategy to sustain U.S. leadership in key associated technologies.