Warfare & the AI-revolution

NATO Guest Lecture by Assistant Secretary General David van Weel
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Wednesday 17 Apr 2024, 16:00 - 17:30
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Erasmus Paviljoen

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‘Smart’ bombs, robots on the battlefield or automatic drone attacks. These are just a few applications of AI within warfare. While the media often focusses on consumer-focused applications like Chat-GPT, it also plays a mayor – yet usually hidden – role in current warfare. How will the future of armed conflict look like with the increasing role of AI? Will war become even more deadly because of ‘killer drones’ or new super weapons? And: How should Europe and NATO approach this vis-à-vis competing powers such as Russia and China? 

During this lecture, NATO Assistant Secretary General David van Weel will give us a crash course on the advances in the domain of military AI. What are the current developments and possible future applications of these technologies and how should NATO respond? Can we prevent the developments of military AI for newer, deadlier weapons? Or should we prepare ourselves for the inevitable developments of such technologies by entities that mean us harm? 

David van Weel is NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Innovation, Hybrid, and Cyber, serving as chief advisor to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on preserving NATO's innovative advantage and addressing matters pertaining to technological challenges, cyber defense, and hybrid threats, along with their extensive implications for the security of the Alliance. Furthermore, David van Weel has a background at the Netherlands Ministry of Defense and the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Giving a response to the lecture will be Marijn Hoijtink, Research Professor in International Relations at the Department of Political Science at the University of Antwerp. Her research focuses on military applications of artificial intelligence (AI), with a particular interest in how these technologies shape how warfare is thought, fought, and lived. She leads the PLATFORM WARS project, funded by the Flemish Research Foundation (FWO), through which she and her team study the role of the high-technology industry in modern warfare. 

The lecture will be introduced and moderated by dr. Michal Onderco, Professor of International Relations at the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences. He is currently researching military AI from a European governance perspective.

This event is supported by the REMIT project, funded from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101094228.

More information

Date: 17 April
Time: 16.00, Doors open: 15.45
Location: Erasmus Paviljoen
Moderation: dr. Michal Onderco
Entrance: Free, reservations mandatory

Organised by Studium Generale

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