What needs to be done to prevent AI causing a nuclear catastrophe?


There are some steps that could help to counteract the increased risk of nuclear use posed by emerging technologies, such as increasing the decision-making time that leaders have to choose to launch nuclear weapons, and by taking nuclear weapons off of launch-on-warning status and delaying the processes to put them on high alert.  

But in the case of nuclear weapons, such measures are insufficient. With nuclear weapons, trying to anticipate, mitigate or regulate the additional risks posed by emerging technologies will never be enough. Nuclear weapons need to be removed from the equation entirely. So, governments need to take action to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons by joining the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which offers a clear path forward under international law to fair and verifiable nuclear disarmament.

In addition, the nuclear-armed states must immediately stop modernising and expanding their nuclear arsenals. Efforts to expedite decision making processes, or to further automate the command, control and communications required for launching nuclear weapons increases risks.