Professor Alex Wilner Awarded DND IDEaS Research Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Alex Wilner on receipt of an IDEaS research grant from the Department of National Defence for his project AI Deterrence

With support from the Innovation for Defence, Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program, Dr. Alex Wilner has been awarded a research grant to undertake a six-month project to assess how Artificial Intelligence (AI) intersects with deterrence theory and practice. While a consensus is forming among military experts, policy makers, and academics, that AI will prove useful for national security, defence, and intelligence purposes, few studies fully explore how AI will influence the logic and practice of deterrence. Debates on AI in warfare are largely centered on the tactical use and misuse of the technology within autonomous weapons systems, and the associated risks AI may pose to the ethical and legal use of force. No concomitant debate exists as to the strategic and deterrent utility of AI in times of crisis, conflict, and war or in matters of cybersecurity. The dearth of knowledge is surprising given the expectation that the future of warfare will be autonomous. And if AI is the future of warfare, then AI is also the future of deterrence. Prof Wilner’s AI Deterrence project will develop a comprehensive conceptual map of how AI influences deterrence across the domains of warfare. The project will help develop new concepts and approaches for contemporary and proactive deterrence, leveraging emerging technology to the benefit of Canadian national security, intelligence, and defence.