Vol. 32 No. 2 (2022): Special Issue: The Ethics of Emerging Technologies and Their Role in Geopolitical Conflict
From the use of algorithmic propaganda to influence elections to the use of drones in Ukraine, emerging technologies are already having dramatic impacts on democratic institutions, social cohesion, and armed conflict. Authoritarian regimes have been perfecting the use of algorithmic censorship and surveillance to suppress domestic dissent. The backlash to Covid control measures has boosted populist conspiracy theories about technology, and politicized science. Militaries have been developing artificial intelligence tools for threat assessment, battlefield management, and control of lethal autonomous robots. Brain-machine interfaces and psychopharmaceuticals are being assessed for use by soldiers. Military planners and geopolitical analysts have been projecting the future impacts of AI, genetic engineering, and nanotechnology on the geopolitical balance of power.
Do emerging technologies like computational propaganda pose unique risks to the health of democracy, or can the same tools be used to strengthen governmental transparency and citizen participation? Do civilian or military applications of emerging technologies threaten the geopolitical balance of power? Will drones and lethal autonomous robots make military interventions more common by reducing the cost in body bags? How will innovations in neurotechnology, nanotechnology and AI change the culture of war and our traditional understanding of military power?