Vladimir Putin has been trying to introduce an AI-steered military that offers humans combined with machines. Experts say the project – a critical segment of Putin’s larger AI doctrine – aims to help modernize Russian armed forces with advanced technology, possibly in cooperation with China.

In a CNAS paper, Bendett suggests while Russia was enthusiastic about taking on AI, that could also make the country even more reckless in its quest to keep up with the West. In a recently published paper, Ibrahim released the analysis of Russian-language media to track the major developments in these spaces and Russia’s journey toward creating an ‘intellectualized’ military, one that functions with some level of decision-making from automated weapons.

“The sources provide a window into Russian discussions and disputes regarding the relevance and significance of AI on the contemporary battlefield and assist analysts in ascertaining what the Russians prioritize regarding AI R&D,” Bennett wrote.

According to Bennett, the most serious threat that Western leaders may perceive regarding how Russia will use AI specifically is bringing AI technologies into its nuclear command, one option high on Russia’s priority list.

AI in Military Strategy: Putin’s AI doctrine reads like a shopping list of capabilities that, when taken together, seem drawn almost directly from Clausewitz undergoing the lyrical mastication of machine learning. It focuses on using semi-automated systems that can perform many military functions with greatly reduced human intervention. 

This entails applying AI for scouting, information, and even assault missions. The whole point is to create a leaner, meaner military that can better react to the new paradigms of warfare, hurting or killing fewer of our armed men and women on the front lines.

China: Some experts say Russia could turn to China for technological assistance and cooperation in creating AI systems. Overall, China has been quick to uncover new innovations in AI research and development for military use. Russia and China have also created an analogous partnership that would speed up the implementation of cutting-edge AI technologies in their military forces.