The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Ari Herbert-Voss is a non-resident research fellow with the Belfer Center Cyber Project as well as a PhD candidate in computer science at Harvard University. He holds affiliate researcher positions at both the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Toronto and the MIT Media Lab. In addition, he is a current fellow at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society. His research focuses on data exfiltration and exploitation of AI systems, as well as adversary threat modeling to inform policymakers about security implications of AI research. He has discovered a number of exploits in popular AI-based technology products, and presented his findings at venues such as DEF CON. He is co-founder and co-organizer of the DEF CON AI Village, a hacker community focused on communicating the uses and abuses of artificial intelligence technology.