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October 25, 2021

Nato defence ministers agree to artificial intelligence strategy

The strategy establishes standards of responsible use of AI technologies.

Defence ministers of Nato have agreed to the treaty’s first-ever strategy for artificial intelligence (AI).

Nato allies have prioritised AI as one of the seven technological areas with respect to defence and security.

According to Nato, the strategy briefs how AI technologies can be applied to defence and security in a ‘protected and ethical way’ and their use in a responsible manner in agreement with international law and Nato’s values.

The strategy also addresses the threats associated with using AI and how to create a ‘trusted cooperation’.

The document emphasised the need for ‘collaboration and cooperation’ among members on matters relating to AI for ‘transatlantic defence and security’.

Nato states that the organisation’s principles have been developed based on the allied members’ approaches and associated work in ‘applicable international fora’.

The aim of the strategy is fourfold and includes laying a foundation for Nato and allies to encourage the development and use of AI for defence and security purposes, to accelerate and mainstream AI adoption in capability development, to address AI-related security policy considerations and safeguard against the threats from malicious AI use.

Lawfulness, responsibility and accountability, explainability and traceability, reliability, governability and bias mitigation are the Nato Principles of ‘Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence in Defence’.

Separately, Nato allies launched the ‘Nato Innovation Fund’ for investment in advanced technologies, with the goal of investing around $1bn on emerging technologies.

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