Lawmakers propose banning AI from singlehandedly launching nuclear weapons

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

American Department of Defense policy already bans artificial intelligence from autonomously launching nuclear weapons. But amid rising fears of AI spurred by a plethora of potential threats, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has decided to make extra-double-sure it can’t.

As announced earlier this week, Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and Representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Ken Buck (R-CO) have introduced the Block Nuclear Launch by Autonomous AI Act, which would “prohibit the use of Federal funds to launch a nuclear weapon using an autonomous weapons system that is not subject to meaningful human control.” The act would codify existing Pentagon rules for nuclear weapons, which, as of 2022, read thusly:

“In all cases, the…

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