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Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Hamburg on July 7, 2017. Credit: Kremlin Presidential Executive Office

A “media mirage”: Russia deployed sophisticated marketing tactics to help Trump win

In a squat, low-slung building in St. Petersburg, Russia, the staff of the Internet Research Agency, a Russian-government associated organization, crafted a doozy of a marketing campaign, one replete with a complex ecosystem of fake social media accounts, links to legitimate websites, and perhaps even a “think tank-style” publication. The goal was much grander than … Continued
Nuka cola ad

Pop Music and the Bomb

What does the music we choose to listen to while playing video games (and contemplating nuclear armageddon) say about our society?

Facing nuclear reality, 35 years after The Day After

FACING NUCLEAR REALITY 35 years after The Day After A Bulletin special report by Dawn Stover A Bulletin special report by Dawn Stover In 1982, a 40-year-old insurance salesman who sold policies to professional athletes traveled from his home in Lawrence, Kansas, to New York City on a business trip. Shortly before he left, Bob … Continued

Artificial intelligence: a detailed explainer, with a human point of view

Is artificial intelligence, AI, a threat to our way of life, or a blessing? AI seeks to replicate and maybe replace what human intelligence does best: make complex decisions. Currently, human decision-making processes may include some means of AI as support or backup. But AI could also be “let out of the box” to act … Continued

How to save the planet from your couch

Researchers are studying how video games can teach people about climate change. It would help if playing them didn't cause climate change too.
French President Emmanuel Macron. Credit: © World Economic Forum / Sikarin Thanachaiary CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

US may not join Macron cyber pact

French President Emmanuel Macron, himself the target of a pre-election hack, went on the offensive this week against the thieves, hackers, and foreign agents who use the internet to attack infrastructure, steal trade secrets, and tip elections. He got representatives of dozens of countries, companies, and nongovernmental organizations to sign onto efforts designed to make … Continued

Learning from South Korea: How artificial intelligence can transform US export controls

Modern export-control systems are streaked with a brush of irony: The very civilian agencies that determine governmental approaches to exporting emerging technologies do not leverage these same technologies to perform key tasks. Rightfully, experts raise alarm at states and non-state actors that weaponize artificial intelligence (AI), yet they pay relatively little attention to how the … Continued
Postage Stamp, Apsara Research Atomic Reactor in Trombay, Mumbai, circa 1965

Estimating India’s nuclear weapons-producing capacity

If India were to dip into its stockpile of reactor-grade plutonium, then instead of dozens of nuclear weapons, it might be able to make hundreds or even thousands. How can we estimate its maximum capacity? By knowing how big India's stockpile is—and we do that by using this algorithm to plug in some unclassified data publicly available online.

Arms control on the brink

Trump’s move to withdraw from the INF is an unnecessary and self-defeating own-goal (to use the soccer term) that together with the uncertain future of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) has brought the US-Russia arms control framework to the brink of collapse.

David Sanger on the perfect weapon

The longtime New York Times national security reporter talks about his new history of cyberwar, why we need a public debate, and how cyberattacks make nuclear war more likely.

Artificial Stupidity

Dumbing down AI might be the best way to keep it from making humans obsolete. Doesn't that feel good?
President Donald Trump poses with service members after signing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 during a visit to Fort Drum, New York, on August 13, 2018.

Protectionist export controls could be bad for nonproliferation

The 2019 US defense spending bill calls for expanded export controls on dual-use goods and technologies. Ironically, that could undermine nonproliferation efforts.
An undated aerial shot of the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, where US nuclear weapons are assembled and taken apart. Credit: US Government.

Under siege: Safety in the nuclear weapons complex

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board faces difficulties that include the actions of some if its own members, who either don’t want or can’t seem to execute its mission. Last year, Sean Sullivan, the acting chairman, tried to secretly convince the Trump White House to get rid of the board entirely, claiming it was “a relic of the Cold-War era defense-establishment.” Sullivan failed and was compelled to resign, but the board has adopted a backup plan that imposes large budget and staffing cuts on the safety agency.
California State Senator Robert Hertzberg. Photo credit: Christopher Michel

The California lawmaker who wants to call a bot a bot

State Senator Robert Hertzberg is zeroing in on data privacy, blockchain, and automated social media accounts.

Artificial intelligence beyond the superpowers

Much of the debate over how artificial intelligence (AI) will affect geopolitics focuses on the emerging arms race between Washington and Beijing, as well as investments by major military powers like Russia. And to be sure, breakthroughs are happening at a rapid pace in the United States and China. But while an arms race between … Continued

Annual Dinner and Meeting Logistics

2018 Annual Dinner & Meeting Logistics   When Thursday, November 8, 2018 Annual Meeting: 12:00pm-5:30pm Annual Dinner: 5:30-9:00pm Location University Club of Chicago, 76 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603 Room Reservations University Club of Chicago, 76 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603 Hotel Phone: 312.726.2840 Cost: Average $258/night Reservations:  For accommodation requests and questions email [email protected]Continued

JAIC: Pentagon debuts artificial intelligence hub

The Defense Department is initiating a whole new approach to artificial intelligence, and maybe even to technology development and procurement. But in the long run, the new program’s most important implications may concern ethics and safety.

Dawn of a new Armageddon

A personal essay on the meaning of a ballistic missile alert issued in Hawaii in January 2018, at the height of nuclear tensions between the United States and North Korea.

A report on the effects of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs

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Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Was Nagasaki necessary?

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