US to China and Russia: Only Humans Should Control Nuclear Weapons

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.02 - 2024 8:48 AM CET

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Photo: ID1974 / Shutterstock.com
Photo: ID1974 / Shutterstock.com
A US official on Thursday urged China and Russia to declare that only humans, not AI, control nuclear weapons.

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A senior US State Department official has urged China and Russia to formally declare that only human decision-makers, not artificial intelligence (AI), will control their nuclear arsenals.

According to reports from Euractiv and Reuters, this appeal seeks to establish a universal standard among the world's leading nuclear powers.

Human Control Over Nuclear Weapons

During an online briefing, Paul Dean, a State Department arms control official, reinforced the United States' stance on the issue.

"Washington has made a clear and strong commitment to ensure that humans retain total control over nuclear weapons," Dean stated, urging China and Russia to issue comparable declarations.

He noted that this principle is crucial for global security and stability, particularly among the P5 nations—the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, which include China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

China's Stance on Nuclear Policy

This call comes as the Biden administration seeks to engage more deeply with China on issues of nuclear weapons policy and the development of artificial intelligence.

The role of AI in defense was a key point of discussion during recent talks between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on April 26.

During these discussions, both parties agreed to initiate the first bilateral talks on artificial intelligence in the coming weeks. Blinken mentioned that these talks would focus on managing risks and ensuring safety surrounding AI technologies.

In addition to AI and nuclear policy talks, US and Chinese officials have resumed discussions on nuclear weapons as part of efforts to normalize military communications.

China, which is currently expanding its nuclear arsenal, has called for the world’s major nuclear powers to negotiate a no-first-use treaty, advocating that those with the largest nuclear capabilities should take the lead.

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