Centre for International and Defence Policy

Centre for International and Defence Policy
Centre for International and Defence Policy

The Bleeding Edge of War: Assessing the Gap in AI and Defence Policy 

Wednesday, 22 January 2020, 12:00-1:00 pm
Robert Sutherland Hall, room 554 (light lunch available at 11:45)

 

H. Christian Breede photo

 

 

H. Christian Breede  

Associate Professor, RMCC
Deputy Director, CIDP
 

 

 

 

Abstract 

In what is increasingly being referred to as the second machine age, the convergence of data, compute, and algorithms that constitute the broad class of technology commonly referred to as artificial intelligence. This convergence is indeed transforming and disrupting how we do things from making money, to interacting with others, to governing, to waging war. While much emphasis has been placed on governance, that emphasis is focused on economics and public policy, with little work on the implications for defence policy. Put simply, there is an acute gap between the development of the technology and the policies in place to optimize the technology. While Canada was a proverbial ‘first mover’ in AI policy, it was quickly followed by other countries and in each case. A detailed examination of Canada’s AI policy revealed silence on defence and security issues. Is Canada alone in this regard? How have Canada’s allies and potential competitors and adversaries addressed the defence policy implications of AI? This study presents a framework for AI policy comparison and tests it against Canada, the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Israel. While Canada fares reasonably well, the gap between the promise of AI and its realization continues, hobbling potential innovations and opportunities.