The Schmidt Program on Artificial Intelligence, Emerging Technologies, and National Power will foster research and teaching that spans the disciplines of computer science, data science, economics, engineering, history, international relations, law, philosophy, physics, and political science.
The Schmidt Program will serve as a hub for scholars and practitioners to work across disciplines on the technological and strategic transformations that are reshaping our world. It is founded on a recognition that cyberspace is now the backbone of our global commerce, communication and defense systems, and a key aspect of the critical infrastructure that powers our modern civilization. Technologies and information spread nearly instantaneously, while the world economy and supply chains are integrated to a degree unprecedented in history.
Yet despite the immense benefits that have resulted from this global connectivity, significant vulnerabilities persist and threats are on the rise. Competition over strategic technologies and contests for advantage in the “information space” are growing, so far without standard international rules of the road. Moreover, the future likely will prove even more transformative due to advances in artificial intelligence (AI). Machines capable of sophisticated information processing, towards the frontier of autonomy, pose tremendous opportunities for economic growth and societal well-being. But the potential threats also are extraordinary: autonomous weaponry, AI-augmented cyberwarfare, sophisticated disinformation campaigns, and geopolitical instability as nations race to deploy these unpredictable technologies.
The Schmidt Program will examine how AI has the potential to alter the fundamental building blocks of world order. Particular attention will be paid to whether there exist any parallels between the development of AI and nuclear weapons, and the relationship among technology, strategy, and power in the digital age. In addition, a focus on nanotechnology, quantum science, synthetic biology, hypersonic technologies, and long-term space development will equip aspiring policy leaders with the requisite technical fluency to identify and respond to emerging threats.