The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting brings together global leaders from governments, companies, science and international organizations as well as societal actors. Three members of the CSS attended this year’s WEF in Davos. While Myriam Dunn Cavelty and Matteo Bonfanti joined discussions on different aspects of cybersecurity, Sophie Fischer presented on the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in international politics.
China is once again conducting cyber-enabled theft of U.S. intellectual property to advance its technological capabilities. To combat the problem, the United States should build a multinational coalition, sanction Chinese companies, and strengthen cyber defenses.
Recently, one of us spent a week in China discussing the future of war with a group of American and Chinese academics. Everyone speculated about the role of artificial intelligence (AI), but, surprisingly, many Chinese participants equated AI almost exclusively with armies of killer robots.
Popular imagination and much of current AI scholarship tend to focus, understandably, on the more glamorous aspects of AI — the stuff of science fiction and the Terminator movies. While lethal and autonomous weapons have been a hot topic in recent years, this is only one aspect of war that will change as artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated. As, AI itself will not manifest just as a weapon; rather, it is an enabler that can support a broad spectrum of technologies. We agree: AI’s most substantial impacts are likely to fly under the radar in discussions about its potential. Therefore, a more holistic conversation should acknowledge AI’s potential effects in cyber space, not by facilitating cyber attacks, but rather by improving cyber security at scale through increased asset awareness and minimized source code vulnerabilities.
This graphic provides a timeline on the development of the areas of focus for cooperation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) since the 1990s. For more on the SCO, its current and future relevance, and whether Europe should engage with the organization, see Linda Maduz’s comprehensive study Flexibility by Design. For more CSS charts, maps and graphics, click here.
Cyberattacks must also be understood as a phenomenon of political violence and combated as such, says Myriam Dunn Cavelty.
Digitalisation will fundamentally alter many aspects of our lives – in many cases for the better. However, our increasing dependence on computers and networks for data exchange and storage is creating new vulnerabilities for both individuals and society. The key word here is: cybersecurity. This encompasses more than just technical solutions: it involves not only security in cyberspace, but also security that is influenced by cyberspace.