Carnegie Mellon University

Rita Konaev - "US Military Investments in Autonomous and AI-Enabled Weapons and Systems: Costs, Benefits, and Strategic Effects"

Monday, March 2, 2020
Baker Hall, Room 136A (Adamson Wing)
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

In a complex and competitive security environment, the United States needs to preserve its military dominance, deter adversaries from aggression, prevent proliferation of weapons and technologies to hostile state and nonstate actors, ensure interoperability with allies, and be prepared to conduct a range of military operations, effectively and in accordance with the laws of war. Achieving these strategic objectives requires capabilities such as speed, precision, coordination, reach, persistence, lethality, and endurance – all of which can be enhanced through investments in emerging technologies, such as autonomy and artificial intelligence. This talk will present an analysis of US military investments in basic, applied, and advanced research on autonomous and AI-enabled weapons and systems, discuss the benefits, risks, and implications these technologies could have across the different strategic areas of interests, and assess strategic scenarios and operational conditions in which using autonomous and AI-enabled weapons and systems could harm US objectives.

About Rita Konaev:

Dr. Margarita Konaev is a Research Fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, specializing in military applications of artificial intelligence, Russian military innovation, and urban warfare in the Middle East, Russia, and Eurasia. After receiving her PhD from the University of Notre Dame, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House and the Center for Strategic Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, as well as a Nonresident Fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point. Margarita’s research has appeared in the Journal of Strategic Studies, Journal of Global Security Studies, and Conflict Management and Peace Science, as well as in policy outlets such as The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Lawfare, War on the Rocks, French Institute of International Relations, and Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Sponsored by the Center for International Relations and Politics and the Institute for Strategic Analysis. 

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CIRP Policy Forum: Rita Konaev 3/2/20