Markey and Lieu seek to ban fed funds for nuke launches without “meaningful human control.”
On Wednesday, US Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Representatives Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Don Beyer (D-Va.), and Ken Buck (R-Colo.) announced bipartisan legislation that seeks to prevent an artificial intelligence system from making nuclear launch decisions. The Block Nuclear Launch by Autonomous Artificial Intelligence Act would prohibit the use of federal funds for launching any nuclear weapon by an automated system without “meaningful human control.”
“While US military use of AI can be appropriate for enhancing national security purposes, use of AI for deploying nuclear weapons without a human chain of command and control is reckless, dangerous, and should be prohibited,” Buck said in a statement. “I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation to ensure that human beings, not machines, have the final say over the most critical and sensitive military decisions.”
The new bill comes as anxiety grows over the future potential of rapidly advancing (and sometimes poorly understood and overhyped) generative AI technology, which prompted a group of researchers to call for a pause in the development of systems “more powerful” than GPT-4 in March.