How is artificial intelligence (AI) affecting conflict and its resolution? Peace practitioners and scholars cannot afford to disregard ongoing developments related to AI-based technologies – both from an ethical and a pragmatic perspective. In this blog, I explore AI as an evolving field of information management technologies that is changing both the nature of armed conflict and the way we can respond to it. AI encompasses the use of computer programmes to analyse big amounts of data (such as online communication and transactions) in order to learn from patterns and predict human behaviour on a massive scale. This is potentially useful for managing corporations and shaping markets, but also for gaining political influence, conducting psychological warfare and controlling populations.
Subjective Assessment of Switzerland’s Future – ‘Sicherheit 2019’
This graphic illustrates the subjective assessment of Swiss respondents about Switzerland’s near future from 1993 to 2019. To find out more, read the ‘Sicherheit 2019’ here. The ‘Sicherheit’ study is an annual survey conducted by the Center for Security Studies and the Military Academy at ETH Zurich.
Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), launched by the EU in December 2017, has grown quickly. Yet, its role in developing European defence capacity may turn out to be marginal if a compromise is not found on the issue of the participation of non-EU states in PESCO projects and on the size of the European Defence Fund (EDF). PESCO’s importance may be diminished by advances by big, European defence initiatives led outside the EU’s legal framework.
Can African leaders repeat the show of unity achieved on continental free trade to silence the guns?
For the African Union, 2020 is supposed to be a landmark year. Its ‘silencing the guns’ initiative is aimed at ‘ending all wars, civil conflicts, gender-based violence, violent conflicts and preventing genocide in the continent by 2020.’ While no one can argue with that laudable goal, the continental body and its member states will have to work miracles to achieve it by the end of this year – especially when the trend seems to be heading in the other direction.
According to some, artificial intelligence (AI) is the new electricity. Like electricity, AI will transform every major industry and open new opportunities that were never possible. However, unlike electricity, the ethics surrounding the development and use of AI remain controversial, which is a significant element constraining AI’s full potential.