The Impact of Artificial Intelligence Bias on National Security — Mike Smith

Point of View
3 min readApr 15, 2024


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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an indispensable tool in national security, offering improved threat detection, intelligence analysis, and defense strategies. However, amid the enthusiasm for its potential, there are some very real concerns. According to the Gladstone AI report commissioned by the U.S. State Department, advanced AI systems can pose a significant threat. Based on interviews with over 200 experts, including top executives from leading AI technology companies and national security officials, the report highlights the risks associated with uncontrolled development and unconstrained deployment.

One of the most pressing concerns is the impact of inherent AI biases on threat assessment and surveillance. Algorithms are reliant on historical data and may provide inaccurate responses based on the datasets on which they are trained. For example, if a dataset indicates that a particular demographic is disproportionately involved in criminal activities then AI algorithms may be influenced to associate that group with a higher risk factor. Consequently, people from marginalized communities may face increased surveillance and scrutiny. Similarly, in counterterrorism operations, AI systems may inadvertently target innocent individuals based on flawed assumptions or stereotypes.

On a global level, AI-driven analyses may inadvertently reinforce biases prevalent in geopolitical discourse. As algorithms prioritize certain sources or languages over others, they may reinforce stereotypes and misconceptions. This can lead to misinterpretations of intent. As a result, diplomatic tensions between nations could be exacerbated. These inaccuracies can also lead to a failure to identify emerging threats or vulnerabilities.

Addressing AI bias in national security requires a multifaceted approach. First and foremost, it is essential to recognize the limitations of AI algorithms and acknowledge the potential for bias in their decision-making processes. We need to prioritize transparency, accountability, and inclusivity. By fostering a culture of openness, national security agencies can encourage critical examination of AI systems and promote awareness of their limitations.

Accountability mechanisms must be established to ensure that AI algorithms are held to ethical standards and regulatory guidelines. This includes rigorous testing and validation procedures to detect and mitigate biases before AI systems are deployed in operational settings. As other inaccuracies may develop over time, ongoing monitoring and evaluation are necessary.

To mitigate bias at the outset, promoting diversity in AI development teams is paramount. Inclusivity can help ensure that AI algorithms are more representative. By incorporating diverse perspectives and experiences, national security agencies can develop AI systems that are more robust and resilient.

AI biases pose a significant threat to national security. Addressing them requires a concerted effort to promote transparency, accountability, and inclusivity in AI development and deployment. By acknowledging the limitations of algorithms and giving precedence to ethical considerations, we can unlock the full potential of AI while safeguarding against any potential adverse impacts.

To read Gladstone AI’s report, click here

About Mike Smith: a tested senior executive and U.S. Navy veteran with over 20 years of achieving organizational excellence in the Aerospace and Defense (A&D) industry, Mike is renowned for driving over $14 billion in new value creation. A mission-driven growth leader, he specializes in expanding A&D companies into new markets, optimizing margins, and fostering shared access to defense technology. Mike is dedicated to fostering collaborative success and propelling collective growth through purpose-driven leadership and ground-breaking strategic thinking.

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