Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A new report seen first by Axios details the global security risks posed by emerging technologies like AI and gene editing.

Why it matters: Rising populism, as well as the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, has already eaten away at the postwar global order. Now powerful new technologies threaten to widen the gap between what we can do and what we can control.

What they're saying: "AI, bioscience, cyber threats and autonomous weapons are on the cusp of transforming every aspect of life," says Robert Manning, resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and the author the report. "Yet the governance deficit is dangerously wide."

Details: Among the advances Manning identifies are:

  • 5G: Next-generation mobile broadband will enable everything from automated vehicles to precision farming, but the U.S. and China are already butting heads over who will seize the lead.
  • Hypersonic missiles: The development of missiles that can fly far faster than current ICBMs threatens to undercut the Cold War logic of deterrence.
  • Quantum computing: Next-generation computers will help tech sidestep the limits of Moore's Law, but their code-breaking ability poses an existential threat to cybersecurity.

What's next: The early years of the Cold War were marked by destabilizing technological leaps on nuclear weapons that were only later restrained by arms control treaties.

  • But today, Manning notes, emerging technologies "all pose new risks to crisis stability at a time when the framework of restraint, of arms control, is unraveling."

The bottom line: The sooner major powers recognize their shared vulnerability to the disruptions of emerging technology, the safer we'll all be.

Go deeper: The U.S. rift with China has tech on edge

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Aug 26, 2020 - Technology

Why quantum computing matters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new government initiative will direct hundreds of millions of dollars to support new centers for quantum computing research.

Why it matters: Quantum information science represents the next leap forward for computing, opening the door to powerful machines that can help provide answers to some of our most pressing questions. The nation that takes the lead in quantum will stake a pole position for the future.

Pelosi: Trump wants to "crush" ACA with Ginsburg replacement

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on ABC's "This Week" that President Trump was rushing to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because he "wants to crush the Affordable Care Act."

Why it matters: Pelosi wants to steer the conversation around the potential Ginsburg replacement to health care, which polls show is a top issue for voters, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Trump administration has urged the courts to strike down the law, and with it, protections for millions with pre-existing conditions.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' Armageddon option

A makeshift memorial outside the Supreme Court yesterday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Furious Democrats are considering total war — profound changes to two branches of government, and even adding stars to the flag — if Republicans jam through a Supreme Court nominee, then lose control of the Senate.

On the table: Adding Supreme Court justices ... eliminating the Senate's 60-vote threshold to end filibusters ... and statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico. "If he holds a vote in 2020, we pack the court in 2021," Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) tweeted.