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NATO Defence Ministers Reach Consensus on First-Ever AI Strategy

NATO, is a political and military alliance of multiple countries, with clearly drawn-out political and military agendas. The political objective of NATO is to promote democratic values and enable members to consult and cooperate on defense and security-related issues. On the military front, NATO aims to facilitate the peaceful resolution of disputes. As of now, the number of countries that have become a part of NATO is 30. The list of countries includes Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Spain, and more. 

There are 40 non-member countries as well that collaborate with NATO on a wide range of political and security-related issues. NATO also cooperates with a range of international organizations.

The defense ministers of all these member countries have now reached a consensus on the organization’s first-ever AI strategy.  


NATOs First-Ever AI Strategy

NATO allies have prioritized seven technological areas - all of them to do with defense and security.  Their new AI strategy defines how artificial technology could be used in defense and security in a way that is ethical and stays within the realm of international law and NATO values. It involves addressing threats that come with the use of AI.

The strategy stresses the importance of collaboration and cooperation among NATO members while implementing AI for “transatlantic defense and security.” It also considers the formation of a “trusted cooperation” to steer its plans into execution. 

The objective of the strategy is multi-pronged. The first is to form the base for NATO and its allies through which they can systemically and structurally promote the development and implementation of AI. The second is to build ways to accelerate the adoption of AI. The third objective is to cater to the security policy arguments, vital to shaping a protected and ethical AI usage policy. The fourth and final objective is to create a structure that would protect from potentially malicious use of the technology. 

Overall, NATO’s AI strategy appears to be sensitive about its responsible use. It thrives on the principles of lawfulness and wants its use of AI to be responsible, accountable, explainable, and traceable.

Collective defense and cooperative security have always been NATO’s core founding principles. While a mix of nuclear, conventional, and ballistic missile defense capabilities stayed at the core of its strategy, NATO allies have also agreed on developing additional capabilities required for full-spectrum defense. The introduction of AI at a strategic level would expedite those developmental efforts.