Only Humans Should Determine Deployment Of Nuclear Weapons, Not AI, US Urges China, Russia

Only Humans Should Determine Deployment Of Nuclear Weapons, Not AI, US Urges China, Russia

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A senior U.S. official called upon China and Russia on Thursday to join the United States and other nations in affirming that only human decision-makers, not artificial intelligence, would determine the deployment of nuclear weapons.

Paul Dean, an arms control official at the State Department and principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Arms Control, Deterrence and Stability, emphasised during an online briefing that the U.S. had firmly committed to ensuring human control over nuclear weapons. He noted that France and Britain had also made similar declarations.

Dean said, “We would welcome a similar statement by China and the Russian Federation. We think it is an extremely important norm of responsible behaviour and we think it is something that would be very welcome in a P5 context,” as he highlighted the significance of this principle within the context of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, known as the P5.

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His comments coincide with efforts by the Biden administration to engage in separate discussions with China concerning nuclear weapons policy and the advancement of artificial intelligence.

The Chinese defence ministry did not provide an immediate response to the request for comment on Dean’s statement.

The topic of artificial intelligence arose during extensive talks between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on April 26. Both parties agreed to convene their inaugural bilateral discussions on artificial intelligence in the forthcoming weeks, aiming to address potential risks and safety measures associated with the technology.

While U.S. and Chinese officials resumed discussions on nuclear weapons in January as part of normalising military communication, formal arms control negotiations are not anticipated in the near future.

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China, which is enhancing its nuclear capabilities, previously advocated in February for the largest nuclear powers to prioritise negotiations on a no-first-use treaty among themselves.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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