Wednesday, July 26, 2023

g-f(2)1229 The AI Lighthouse: Democracy, Defence and Conflict in the Age of AI


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The “Positive Disruption: Transformation Revolution” has accelerated

The "Positive Disruption: AI Revolution" has accelerated

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The swift progress of AI technology has led to its widespread use in a variety of industries, including consulting, banking, manufacturing, and healthcare. Generative AI, in particular, has gained popularity and is poised to revolutionize many aspects of society, with significant implications for democracy, elections, and armed conflict. As such, it is crucial to evaluate the effects of AI on democratic values and institutions, as well as on military defense.

The lighthouse offers a glimpse into the latest advancements in AI.

Below are 10 key facts from the golden knowledge article “Democracy, Defence and Conflict in the Age of AI”:

  1. AI companies worldwide are racing to develop and deploy the technology as quickly as possible and attain AI supremacy.
  2. The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) has resulted in its proliferation across various sectors – from consulting and banking to manufacturing and healthcare, to name just a few. 
  3. Generative AI has become increasingly widespread and is set to be a game changer at all levels, with far-reaching repercussions for democracy, elections and armed conflict. 
  4. It is therefore critical to assess its impact on democratic principles and institutions, as well as military defence.
  5. Overview of the AI landscape. AI and big data play a key role in framing public discourse during elections, and the technology will undoubtedly affect the 2024 United States presidential race. The discussion kicked off with the panellists dissecting the evolution of how AI is used in the political realm.
  6. A tale of two regions. The panellists also touched on differences in the growth of AI between the US and Europe, and how European AI companies can catch up to their American counterparts. As one of the speakers pointed out, US companies have generally been a lot more strategic about investing in AI, leading to significant differences in value capture.
  7. Upholding democratic values. Much has been said about AI’s role in stoking populism and threatening the democratic process. One of the speakers framed democracy as a conversation that breaks down if it gets overwhelmed by bots and deepfakes. How, then, can we better protect the democratic process from the risks of AI, especially with crucial elections taking place in the US and Europe in the next few years?
  8. As one of the panellists stressed, it will be crucial to have systems that verify AI-created content and clearly label it as being generated by AI. 
  9. Of course, there are many cases of the technology being used for good. As a panellists commented, some NGOs are leveraging AI to help stateless individuals by getting real-time information to them in their language.
  10. Another panellist emphasised that this could potentially be the biggest technological shift humankind has ever seen. While politicians play an outsized part in shaping AI regulations, it is equally important for citizens to voice their opinions on how AI is developed, deployed and governed. This engagement is vital to ensure the preservation of democratic values in society.


Rachel Eva Lim, Democracy, Defence and Conflict in the Age of AI, Insead Knowledge, July 25, 2023.


Rachel Eva Lim

Rachel Eva Lim is a Senior Editor at INSEAD Knowledge.

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  • Category 2: The Big Picture of the Digital Age
    • The Lighthouse of the Big Picture of the Digital Age
      • The "Positive Disruption: AI Revolution" has accelerated
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