In a recently released report, an independent federal commission on artificial intelligence — National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence mentioned that the US should build a formal tech alliance with India. This move has been called to help develop a comprehensive Indo-Pacific strategy that will be focused on emerging technologies.
This newly-created US body in its report has clearly stated that the Department of State and the Department of Defence should negotiate formal cooperation agreements with countries like India, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Vietnam, with regards to artificial intelligence.
The same report has been submitted to the Congress and President Donald Trump, where it has been underlined that the US must build on the strength of its allies and partners to win the global technology competition and preserve free and open societies.
According to the Commission, it is required to grow support for the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, which is a strategic forum among the US, Australia, India, and Japan, which will help in creating a formal relationship with nations in the Indo-Pacific region to concentrate on AI cooperation for defence and security purposes. The Commission further recommended that to achieve this goal, it is required to create a comprehensive strategic framework to marshal international multilateral and bilateral cooperation.
The few ways this can be done are — firstly, expediting the responsible development and fielding of artificial intelligence by NATO and member states and manage defence cooperation agreements with allies in the Indo-Pacific; secondly, it is required to build a multilateral effort to promote the responsible use of AI, by leading a coalition of democracies, which will further advance innovation, and strengthen diplomatic ties. Thirdly, it is required to improve coordination with private industry and international partners to ensure best practices and consideration for new emerging technologies and address national security needs; fourthly, the US must deepen its artificial intelligence bilateral partnerships with free and open societies.
When asked the Commission to comment on the same, it stated to the media that this should be pursued through a formal tech alliance between the world’s largest democracies – the US and India. Along with “a strategic dialogue between the world’s largest economies – the US and the European Union,” to address the opportunities as well as the challenges presented by this emerging technology.
The report by the Commission further asked the US to centre its Indo-Pacific relations around India with AI as a key focal point as not only India is the world’s largest democracy, but there is also a growing geopolitical challenge. Along with that, the shared commitment to freedom, democratic principles, and the rule of law are few of the shared interests of the two nations, including strong innovation and technical infrastructures.
Therefore, it has now become imperative to implement a more robust policy towards India, where the Department of State, in coordination with the Departments of Defence and Commerce, will be leading the creation of the US-India Strategic Tech Alliance (UISTA).
To achieve this, the countries should engage in periodic high-level meetings to develop a comprehensive strategy on issues involving emerging technology and the Indo-Pacific region. Also, through regular working groups, UISTA should develop and implement concrete, operational avenues for cooperation between the two countries. This would include — advanced joint research and development projects around AI; talent exchanges and talent flow; addressing issues on innovation; addressing emerging technology investment; aligning export controls, investment screening, and intellectual property rights; development of AI for all; and using the technology to counter disinformation.
The Commission also recommended that the Department of State, in partnership with the India’s Ministry of External Affairs, should establish UISTA to develop and implement a strategy for emerging technology and the Indo-Pacific region. It also requires participation from the US Government along with the Departments of Defence, Energy, and Commerce.
According to the Commission, in recent years, India has made several efforts to improve its artificial intelligence infrastructure with some key investments by US organisations and has also faced immediate threats to its territorial and cyberspace integrity from China. India has also been an active participant in the most promising new multilateral efforts around AI such as GPAI and participated in the emerging D10 coalition.
Unlike other countries, India boasts domestic technological expertise and its citizens represent over 70% of the H-1B visas issued annually by the US. Thus there is enormous potential for creating an alignment between the two nations, the Commission concluded.