Henry Kissinger on a potential artificial intelligence arms race

You know there will also be an artificial intelligence arms race, but it’s going to be different. Because in the previous arms races, you could develop plausible theories about how you might prevail. It would be a totally new problem intellectually, veteran US diplomat Henry Kissinger said during an interview with CBS news recently.

When the former secretary of state was asked that theoretically, the US has declared that it will always maintain and insist upon human control of artificial intelligence, but from a practical point of view, it’s impossible.

The nobel laureate said “Well, it’s a highly desirable objective, but the speed with which artificial intelligence acts will make it problematical in crisis situations.”

Kissinger, an architect of the cold war policy towards the Soviet Union as secretary of state under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford said under a wartime situation, for example, in which AI recommends a course of action that the President and his advisors consider horrifyingly unwise. “In relying on the answer, we cannot double-check it,” said Kissinger, “because we cannot review all the knowledge that the machine has acquired. We are giving it that knowledge. But this will be one of the big debates. I am now trying to do what I did with respect to nuclear weapons, to call attention to the importance of the impact of this evolution.”

The veteran diplomat whose career has been one of extraordinary achievement, and relentless controversies like the bombing of Cambodia, Vietnam war, Argentina and Chile, proposed a ceasefire in Ukraine war in May 2022.

 The time is approaching for negotiated peace in Ukraine to reduce the risk of another devastating world war. Dreams of breaking up Russia could unleash nuclear chaos, Kissinger had said.

The dissolution of Russia or destroying its ability for strategic policy could turn its territory encompassing 11 time zones into a contested vacuum,” Kissinger wrote in the article titled “How to avoid another world war”.

Kissinger, who is obsessed with artificial intelligence (AI), also co-authored a book on the subject in 2021. “The Age of AI and Our Human Future” where he argues that AI will have sweeping implications for militaries, altering doctrines and battle tactics and influencing the global balance of power. The book asks more questions than it answers. But that is its point: to provoke a wide-ranging conversation about how societies can make AI a partner in—rather than an obstacle to—the pursuit of human betterment.

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