National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence

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Group.png National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence
(Big data lobby, Surveillance lobby)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
HeadquartersWashington DC
InterestsArtificial Intelligence, war on cash, facial recognition, AI healthcare, smart cities
Membership• Eric Schmidt
• Robert O. Work
• Safra Catz
• Steve Chien
• Mignon Clyburn
• Chris Darby
• Ken Ford
• José-Marie Griffiths
• Eric Horvitz
• Andy Jassy
• Gilman Louie
• William Mark
• Jason Matheny
• Katharina McFarland
• Andrew Moore

The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence(NSCAI) was established in August 2018 as part of the military budget "to consider the methods and means necessary to advance the development of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and associated technologies to comprehensively address the national security and defense needs of the United States." [1]

There is a considerable amount of overlap between the NSCAI and the companies advising the White House on “re-opening” the economy after the coronavirus panic (Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Lockheed Martin, Oracle) and one NSCAI member, Oracle’s Safra Katz, is on the White House’s “economic revival” taskforce. Also notable is the fact that In-Q-Tel and the U.S. intelligence services has considerable representation on the NSCAI.[2] It lobbies for Big Tech AI "smart cities" à la China.


The NSCAI is a key part of the government’s response to what is often referred to as the coming “fourth industrial revolution,” which has been described as “a revolution characterized by discontinuous technological development in areas like artificial intelligence (AI), big data, fifth-generation telecommunications networking (5G), nanotechnology and biotechnology, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and quantum computing.”

The Commission is a temporary organization, and is supposed to submit its final report to Congress in October 2020. The Commission will cease operations following the submission of its final report. [3]

The vice-chair of NSCAI, Robert O. Work – former Deputy Secretary of Defense and senior fellow at the hawkish Center for a New American Security (CNAS), described the commission’s purpose as determining “how the U.S. national security apparatus should approach artificial intelligence, including a focus on how the government can work with industry to compete with China’s ‘civil-military fusion’ concept.”

Targeting China's competitive advantage

In the May 2019 “Chinese Tech Landscape Overview” presentation[4], the NSCAI discusses that, while the U.S. still leads in the “creation” stage of AI and related technologies, it lags behind China in the “adoption” stage due to “structural factors.” It says that “creation”, followed by “adoption” and “iteration” are the three phases of the “life cycle of new tech” and asserts that failing to dominate in the “adoption” stage will allow China to “leapfrog” the U.S. and dominate AI for the foreseeable future.

The presentation also argues that, in order to “leapfrog” competitors in emerging markets, what is needed is not “individual brilliance” but instead specific “structural conditions that exist within certain markets.” It cites several case studies where China is considered to be “leapfrogging” the U.S. due to major differences in these “structural factors.”

Chief among the troublesome “structural factors” highlighted in this presentation are so-called “legacy systems” that are common in the U.S. but much less so in China. The NSCAI document states that examples of “legacy systems” include a financial system that still utilizes cash and card payments, individual car ownership and even receiving medical attention from a human doctor. It states that, while these “legacy systems” in the US are “good enough,” too many “good enough” systems “hinder the adoption of new things,” specifically AI-driven systems.


  • Steve Chien. Jet Propulsion Lab
  • Chris Darby CEO of In-Q-Tel (CIA’s venture capital arm)
  • Ken Ford, Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition
  • José-Marie Griffiths, Dakota State University
  • Eric Horvitz director of Microsoft Research Labs
  • Andy Jassy, Amazon Web Services
  • Gilman Louie, partner at Alsop Louie Partners and former CEO of In-Q-Tel
  • William Mark, director of SRI International and former Lockheed Martin director
  • Katharina McFarland, Chair, National Academies of Science Board of Army Research and Development


Known Participant

1 of the 15 of the participants already have pages here:

Eric SchmidtUS billionaire who works for Alphabet (a.k.a Google). A 1997 WEF Global Leader for Tomorrow with numerous other deep political connections.