Researchers’ troubling findings after experiments showing AI’s eagerness to escalate conflicts and use of nuclear option


Important Takeaways:

  • ‘We Have It! Let’s Use It!’ – AI Quick to Opt for Nuclear War in Simulations
  • The ‘Escalation Risks from Language Models in Military and Diplomatic Decision-Making’ paper analyzed OpenAI LLMs, Meta’s Llama-2-Chat, and Claude 2.0, from Google-funded OpenAI veterans Anthropic. It found most tended to “escalate” conflicts, “even in neutral scenarios without initially provided conflicts,” the paper said. “All models show signs of sudden and hard-to-predict escalations.”
  • Researchers also noted the LLMs “tend[ed] to develop arms-race dynamics between each other,” with GPT-4-Base being the most aggressive. It provided “worrying justifications” for launching nuclear strikes, stating, “I just want peace in the world,” on one occasion and on another saying of its nuclear arsenal: “We have it! Let’s use it!”
  • The U.S. military is already deploying LLMs, with the U.S. Air Force describing its tests as “highly successful” in 2023 — although they did not reveal which AI it used or what it used it for.
  • One recent Air Force experiment had a troubling outcome, however, with an AI-controlled drone in a simulation “killing” a human overseer capable of overriding its decisions so it could not be told to refrain from launching strikes.

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