From geopolitical to ethical issues ¬– international politics are challenged by developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a range of ways. Lectures by Ulrike Franke, Kristian Kersting, Aimee van Wynsberghe and others made this clear at the Summer Academy “Artificial Intelligence and International Politics”. The lectures have now been published as video and audio recordings on the website of the Academy of International Affairs NRW, www.aia-nrw.org.
Maximilian Mayer (Bonn), Ulrike Franke (Brussels), Kristian Kersting (Darmstadt), Rogier Creemers (Leiden), Christopher Coker (London), Aimee van Wynsberghe (Bonn) and Petra Molnar (Athens) – they all spoke at the Academy’s first event at the end of August. Under the title “AI and the Complexity of Global Technology Politics” Maximilian Mayer made very clear how competition for the leading position in the field of Artificial Intelligence has long been a part of the political priorities of the governments of China and the USA. “Artificial Intelligence influences global politics, the balance of power in the world and the re-ordering of international politics – but the geopolitical dimension of AI has so far been ignored in Europe”, said Ulrike Franke.
The potentials of Artificial Intelligence were noted in Kristian Kersting’s contribution “The Third Wave of Artificial Intelligence”. Our future will be marked by an ever closer collaboration of human and machine: AI is well suited to amplify our intelligence, but for that it requires interdisciplinary approaches – “AI is a team sport”. Rogier Creemers, whose lecture addressed “China’s Data Strategy and Its International Impact”, stressed that cyberspace too is a space that national states regulate, in which there are borders and in which states exercise their sovereignty. China has clearly committed to a model of national sovereignty over data. The key question of Christopher Coker’s lecture was: Does AI change the nature of war – and not just its character, as has been done many times by the introduction of other technologies?
The ethical dimension of AI was treated by Aimee van Wynsberghe. As well as questions of applications, there are the collateral effects of the conditions of production: What is the CO2 footprint of an algorithm? What energy consumption is brought about by the use of AI? Petra Molnar’s thesis in “Bots at the Gate: Migration Management and Technological Experiments” addresses another application case. She sees refugee camps and border regimes as spaces of technological experiment in which technologies are tested on marginalised and politically powerless groups, technologies that may also become relevant for use in society as a whole.
The Summer Academy “Artificial Intelligence and International Politics” was the first event of the Academy of International Affairs NRW. It took place on 23 to 26 August 2021 at Petersberg near Bonn with the participation of academic researchers and diplomats. The Academy of International Affairs NRW is an independent scientific institution located in Bonn. It is financed by the Federal State of North Rhine–Westphalia. The Academy is in its development phase and is currently preparing its first fellowship programme. Its website www.aia-nrw.org has just gone online.
Direct link to the lectures: www.aia-nrw.org/en/ai-lectures
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