Report: AI could increase the risk of nuclear war

A recent study by the RAND Corporation suggests that artificial intelligence could increase the risk of nuclear war by the year 2040.

That would not happen because of AI taking control and launching missiles as it pleases, but as a result of the influence the information it provides could have on decisions involving military engagement.

“During the Cold War, the condition of mutual assured destruction maintained an uneasy peace between the superpowers by ensuring that any attack would be met by a devastating retaliation,” a release from RAND states. “Mutual assured destruction thereby encouraged strategic stability by reducing the incentives for either country to take actions that might escalate into a nuclear war.”

“In coming decades, artificial intelligence has the potential to erode the condition of mutual assured destruction and undermine strategic stability,” the release further notes.

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How to survive a nuclear attack
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How to survive a nuclear attack

What should you do in the event of a nearby nuclear attack? Click through to learn more. 

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Seek shelter immediately, towards the center of a building or -- preferably -- a basement. Aim for the same type of shelter you would utilize in the event of a tornado. 

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The next three slides are examples of nuclear shelters that exist around the world. 

(Image via Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

The entrance of Shelter Co.'s nuclear shelter model room, which is placed in the basement of the company's CEO Seiichiro Nishimoto's house, is pictured in Osaka, Japan April 26, 2017. (Photo via REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon)
A fallout shelter sign hangs on the Mount Rona Baptist Church, on August 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. In the early 60's Washington was at the center of civil defense preparations in case of a nuclear blast, with over one thousand dedicated public fallout shelters in schools, churches and government buildings. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
A 'shelter' sign is displayed at the entrance to a subway station in Seoul on July 6, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea. According to the metropolitan government, South Korea's city subway stations serve a dual purpose with over 3,300 designated as shelters in case of aerial bombardment including any threat from North Korea. The U.S. said that it will use military force if needed to stop North Korea's nuclear missile program after North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday into Japanese waters. The latest launch have drawn strong criticism from the U.S. as experts believe the ICBM has the range to reach the U.S. states of Alaska and Hawaii and perhaps the U.S. Pacific Northwest. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Dense materials, including dirt or thick walls, provide the best defense to fallout radiation.

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If possible, take a warm shower -- but do not use conditioner, as it can bond to nuclear particles. 

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Do not seek shelter in a car, as they won't provide adequate protection, and you should not attempt to outrun nuclear fallout. 

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The nuclear fallout zone shrinks quickly after an attack, but the less dangerous "hot zone" still grows. 

(Image via Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

Once you are sheltered, do not leave. Listen to a radio or other announcements. 

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One example is through its enhanced ability to find, and even create, vulnerabilities in a nation’s strike response plans and resources.

Knowing that such possibilities exist could create defensive concerns and the conclusion that the best form of self-preservation is to attack first.

There is also the risk that AI will be given more responsibility than it is ready to take on.

“There may be pressure to use AI before it is technologically mature, or it may be susceptible to adversarial subversion,” Andrew Lohn, one of the paper’s authors, commented. “Therefore, maintaining strategic stability in coming decades may prove extremely difficult and all nuclearpowers must participate in the cultivation of institutions to help limit nuclear risk.”

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