Artificial intelligence (AI) could potentially result in a nuclear war by 2040, according to a research paper by a U.S. think tank.
The paper, by the nonprofit Rand Corporation, warns that AI could erode geopolitical stability and remove the status of nuclear weapons as a means of deterrence.
While peace has been maintained for decades due to the notion that any nuclear attack could trigger mutually assured destruction, the potential for AI and machine-learning to decide military actions could mean that the assurance of stability breaks down, Rand researchers warned.
The researchers, who based their paper on a series of workshops with experts, said that AI in the future could encourage human actors to make catastrophic decisions. Improvements in sensory technology, for instance, could result in the destruction of retaliatory forces like submarine and mobile missiles.