Cyberattacks have taken various forms over the decades in order to plague international governments in new and challenging ways. The threat has been constant in the U.S. since the beginning of the Internet Age but has risen to a new level of priority; classified government information is falling into the hands of malicious actors through a few clicks of the mouse. Current campaigns have utilized advanced artificial intelligence technology to further destabilize communication security. Having a government and military filled with autonomous transports, remote sensors, and other AI-engineered equipment in addition to substantial nuclear assets is a concern best dealt with quickly for a vulnerable U.S.
Recognizing this, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence drafted a report with pertinent recommendations on the matter, prognosticating 2025 to be the year the U.S. hopefully reaches a “state of military AI readiness.” The report propounds drastic changes to U.S. security policy and cyber protection funding to compete with Russia and China in the AI game and meet the 4-year goal.
Roughly $35 billion in federal interest investment would rejuvenate U.S. microchip fabrication development to be on par with China. A Digital Service Academy and Civilian National Reserve would be installed to hone technology skills for the next generations and prepare for an AI-heavy future. Other organizations are suggested to form to divide the discussion effectively: a Technology Competitiveness Council, headed by the Vice President, would have an eye on foreign AI acceleration, and The Defense Advanced Research Projects segment would launch actual concerted efforts to identify and disrupt AI deceptions.
A full adoption of the report’s guidelines sets up many more pillars of security for the frontline AI war. The NSCAI consists of 15 bipartisan professionals with expertise in tech, security, business, and academics, and was spawned from the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. The Cyberspace Solarium Commission of early 2020 made similar proposals to the NSCAI in the interest of cybersecurity. Many of its ideas were taken on board the newest annual defense policy bill, including the creation of a cyber director position at the White House. However, AI permutations complicate matters, requiring constantly updated defense strategies. “We know advances in AI build on themselves and confer significant first-mover advantages. Now we must act. A bold, bipartisan initiative can extend our country’s technology advantage but only if we act now,” said Eric Schmidt, the Commission Chairman and Co-Chairman of Schmidt Futures.
Back in 2016, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense presented the Grand Cyber Challenge. Pitting machines against machines in a hack-off, the tournament sought defense systems capable of complex reasoning, self-diagnostics, and other AI functions for integration into the national endeavor. This is one indication, with the benefit of hindsight, of the U.S. taking tentative steps into addressing its malleable stance on cybersecurity development and expenditure. The U.S. government must listen to current recommendations and make the requisite adjustments to not only guard against but harness potent AI technology—for stronger nuclear insurance and airtight data security.