A transformative technology with myriad benefits and significant risks.
Artificial intelligence will revolutionize how militaries operate and how future wars will be fought. Competitive pressures in today’s fraught global security environment will only accelerate this trend. With AI technology advancing at scale, the time to act is now.
AI will help to increase the speed and accuracy of military decision-making, planning and operations. In combination with robotic platforms and next-generation sensor technology, it will open up a vast spectrum of military applications, from AI-enabled logistical support, early warning systems, and intelligence gathering to AI-supported command structures, cyber operations and autonomous weapons systems.
An enabling technology as powerful and transformative as AI comes with a myriad of benefits but also with a long list of significant risks, not least inadvertent escalation, misperception and malfunction, and concerns about lack of transparency, discrimination and bias. Crucially, however, military AI also raises profound ethical and legal questions about human agency and human control, especially in matters of life and death. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has unequivocally stated that “human agency must be preserved at all cost”.
UNIDIR leverages its unique position at the nexus of security, technology and multilateral diplomacy to increase the understanding of the risks and implications of AI for international peace and security and works to support the development of tailored governance responses.