Final Report presents the NSCAI’s strategy for winning the artificial intelligence era -

  • America is not prepared to defend or compete in the AI era. This is the tough reality we must face.
  • AI is an inspiring technology. It will be the most powerful tool in generations for benefiting humanity. State adversaries are already using AI-enabled disinformation attacks to sow division in democracies and jar our sense of reality.
  • The AI competition is also a values competition. China’s domestic use of AI is a chilling precedent for anyone around the world who cherishes individual liberty. Its employment of AI as a tool of repression and surveillance—at home and, increasingly, abroad—is a powerful counterpoint to how we believe AI should be used.
  • The human talent deficit is the government’s most conspicuous AI deficit and the single greatest inhibitor to buying, building, and fielding AI-enabled technologies for national security purposes.
  • We do not want to overstate the precariousness of our position, but given that the vast majority of cutting-edge chips are produced at a single plant separated by just 110 miles of water from our principal strategic competitor, we must reevaluate the meaning of supply chain resilience and security.
  • We worry that only a few big companies and powerful states will have the resources to make the biggest AI breakthroughs.
  • The $40 billion we recommend to expand and democratize federal AI research and development (R&D) is a modest down payment on future breakthroughs.
  • AI technologies are the most powerful tools in generations for expanding knowledge, increasing prosperity, and enriching the human experience.
  • China possesses the might, talent, and ambition to surpass the United States as the world’s leader in AI in the next decade if current trends do not change. Simultaneously, AI is deepening the threat posed by cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns that Russia, China, and others are using to infiltrate our society, steal our data, and interfere in our democracy.
  • They are harvesting data on Americans to build profiles of their beliefs, behavior, and biological makeup for tailored attempts to manipulate or coerce individuals.
  • Human operators will not be able to keep up with or defend against AI-enabled cyber or disinformation attacks, drone swarms, or missile attacks without the assistance of AI-enabled machines.
  • While it is neither feasible nor currently in the interests of the United States to pursue a global prohibition of AI-enabled and autonomous weapon systems, the global, unchecked use of such systems could increase risks of unintended conflict escalation and crisis instability.
  • To establish justified confidence, the government should focus on ensuring that its AI systems are robust and reliable, including through research and development (R&D) investments in AI security and advancing human-AI teaming through a sustained initiative led by the national research labs.
  • Public trust will hinge on justified assurance that government use of AI will respect privacy, civil liberties, and civil rights. The government must earn that trust and ensure that its use of AI tools is effective, legitimate, and lawful.
  • The race to research, develop, and deploy AI and associated technologies is intensifying the technology competition that underpins a wider strategic competition. China is organized, resourced, and determined to win this contest.
  • The government should: (1) double non-defense funding for AI R&D annually to reach $32 billion per year by 2026, establish a National Technology Foundation, and triple the number of National AI Research Institutes; (2) establish a National AI Research Infrastructure composed of cloud computing resources, test beds, large-scale open training data, and an open knowledge network that will broaden access to AI and support experimentation in new fields of science and engineering; and (3) strengthen commercial competitiveness by creating markets for AI and by forming a network of regional innovation clusters.
  • The United States should commit to a strategy to stay at least two generations ahead of China in state-of-the-art microelectronics and commit the funding and incentives to maintain multiple sources of cutting-edge microelectronics fabrication in the United States.
  • The United States must work hand-inhand with allies and partners to promote the use of emerging technologies to strengthen democratic norms and values, coordinate policies and investments to advance global adoption of digital infrastructure and technologies, defend the integrity of international technical standards, cooperate to advance AI innovation, and share practices and resources to defend against malign uses of technology and the influence of authoritarian states in democratic societies.
  • The United States must therefore develop a single, authoritative list of the technologies that will underpin national competitiveness in the 21st century and take bold action to catalyze U.S. leadership in AI, microelectronics, biotechnology, quantum computing, 5G, robotics and autonomous systems, additive manufacturing, and energy storage technology.

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