Many people confuse today’s current geopolitics with those that existed during the 1980s. It seems that Russia and the United States are forever accusing one another of intruding in the domestic affairs of the other. Russia has taken it upon themselves to annex territories over the objections of the United States, which raises concern about potential military conflict.
Potential New Cold War Targets
And just like the first Cold War that started right after World War II, these nations have been building and developing advanced technological weapons. During that Cold War, the choice weapon was mainly nuclear missiles. However today, it is primarily software. And we are talking about the variety that attacks computer systems and other cyber targets throughout the world.
Russian rhetoric regarding the significance of artificial intelligence is gaining ground – with very good reason. As we see artificial intelligence software become more developed, it will become more capable of making decisions from much more data, and it will make such decisions faster than any human ever could. This actually lays the groundwork for the next cold war to be a battle of artificial intelligence.
Modern Cold War
Just like with the first Cold War that occurred during the 1940-50s, both sides have good reasons to worry about their opponent getting an edge technologically. At meeting recently that took place at the Strategic Missile Academy which is located near Moscow, Russian President Putin indicated that artificial intelligence could be the best way for Russia to rebalance power with the United States. This is because the United States has been outspending Russia by a factor of almost 10-to-1 on military defense every year. And this was followed up by a prominent media source in Russia claiming that artificial intelligence was the “key to Russia beating the U.S. in defense.”
All of this is starting to sound a lot like the rhetoric we always heard during the first Cold War, when the Soviets and the United States created a combined nuclear weapons arsenal to annihilate virtually every person on the planet several times over. This was the mother of all arms races which promoted the notion of mutually assured destruction. Neither of these two sides would even risk getting into an open war with the other without guaranteeing its own demise. Instead, weapon after weapon was stockpiled by both sides and they indirectly dueled through smaller proxy conflicts and various political disputes.
Today, it has been about 30 years since that first Cold War ended. And as a result, Russia and the United States decommissioned thousands and thousands of these stockpiled nuclear weapons. However, we are now seeing these old tensions start to grow again. And most experts agree that a modern-day version of this cold war would most likely include lots of cyberattacks with both parties getting involved in one another’s conflicts. And this is actually happening already.
Currently, each country has expelled each other’s diplomats. And Russia annexed part of Crimea against the United States objections. Many people are calling the Turkish-Syrian border war is being called a “proxy war” between Russia and the U.S.
Both of these countries – along with others as well – still have several nuclear weapons, but using them is still hard to fathom by most people. However, several recent reports are showing an increase in public concern that these weapons might be used.