Although it hasn’t been widely publicised, artificial intelligence will play a key role in the new AUKUS alliance.


  Most of the media coverage of the new AUKUS pact has focused on the nuclear-powered submarines Australia will be getting. But the agreement also emphasises the importance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to defence and national security. Britain’s new AI strategy puts defence front and centre. By the end of 2021, the UK Defence Ministry intends to have published its strategy on adopting and using AI. In the US, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence has been tasked with accelerating the adoption of AI for national security. This policy represents a new paradigm in which AI and national security go hand in hand. Back in Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has added science and technology to the portfolio of the Defence Industry Minister, signalling closer alignment of the research sector with the Defence organisation. US universities are being redefined as an essential part of the national security enterprise. If the US positioning of research as a national asset is anything to go by, Australian universities are likely to be repositioned as an element of critical infrastructure. Australian AI research ranks highly in per capita output and quality, but we have a weak venture capital system in terms of commercialising our research. So it’s vital to Australia’s strategic vision that its vision includes interoperability and cooperation with the US and UK.


Sep 2021 AFR Australian universities have expertise to support AUKUS security pact

Sep 2021 The Mandarin The AUKUS agenda: domestic and international partnership implications beyond submarines

Oct 2021 Lowy Institute In defence of AUKUS