The Intersection of AI and Nuclear Weapons

Ken Briggs
Current History
Published in
11 min readJan 9, 2024

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Image created using the DALL-E generative AI model. Prompt: Create an image of artificial intelligence and nuclear weapons

This essay is adapted from a paper I submitted to the Harvard Extension School class Govt E-1886: The Role of Nuclear Weapons in the Twenty-First Century.

Introduction

The international security landscape will soon undergo a profound transformation with the rise of AI technology. AI and other emerging technologies have very practical use cases for military technology and national defense, and it’s expected that these will come to fruition in the coming decades. In particular, the integration of AI with nuclear weapons systems poses significant ethical dilemmas and will require careful management to mitigate potentially negative geopolitical impacts.

This paper will discuss this transition in nuclear weapons technology by tracing the historical development of nuclear weapons technology from its inception in the early 20th century to the present. Then, it will explore the potential integrations of artificial intelligence (AI) with nuclear weapons technology and focus particularly on the geopolitical implications.

The Historical Development of Nuclear Weapons

The development of nuclear weapons technology began in the early 20th century, a period marked by groundbreaking scientific discoveries and engineering achievements that would…

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Ken Briggs
Current History

Engineer, tech co-founder, writer, and student of foreign policy. Talks about the intersection of technology, politics, business, foreign affairs, and history