The Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age (AIDA) committee linked to the European Parliament proposes a study on artificial intelligence and European diplomacy. Entitled “The Governance of Artificial Intelligence as a New External Policy of the European Union”, the brief was written by Dr. Ulrike Franke, member of the EU’s Directorate General for Policy and head of the Technology and European Power initiative of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).
A study to show how AI will shape European and global geopolitics
The paper was provided by the Thematic Department for Economic, Scientific, and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the AIDA Committee. In this study, written by Ulrike Franke, it is outlined how AI could impact the EU’s geopolitical power and its relations with other countries. Several scenarios are presented on how AI may change the international balance of power and proposes recommendations for all member states to react appropriately.
In order to provide the overall results of the study, the AIDA committee started from several findings, understood across the EU:
- It is widely accepted that AI will shape the future.
- The use of machine learning and its derivatives promises to revolutionize many industries, transform businesses, and change the way research is conducted.
- States are working on ways to strengthen their AI ecosystems, integrate AI into the private sector, and support the use of AI in the public sector.
- EU institutions are working on regulating AI, this is shown by the announcement of the AI regulation by the European Commission.
However, one topic is not investigated, namely how AI influences global politics and the balance of power. One question emerges: How can AI contribute to a reorganisation of international politics?
Priority challenges and recommendations in AI and geopolitics
6 areas are considered as priority axes through which AI can have an impact on the international balance of power:
- Role of AI in Sino-US competition.
- The use of AI for authoritarian control and the weakening of democracy.
- AI nationalism.
- AI’s contribution to the rise of the private sector against the state.
- The impact of AI on military power and the defence sector.
- The possibility of a development of general Artificial Intelligence with potentially wide repercussions.
According to the brief, the EU will need to find answers to all of these six challenges. The main recommendations proposed by the AIDA committee are:
- Establish a European Safety Commission on AI.
- Establish a European research centre focused on AI issues: this is arguably the most relevant issue for Europe at the moment and should be the EU’s priority.
- Working closely with the US. Positioning towards China also seems to be an important point since any effective European AI policy will depend on a common global position, which is far from being the case.
- Stay focused on ethical and trustworthy AI.
- Encourage Member States to publish military AI strategies.
The paper concludes by stating that the EU must take this challenge seriously and must commit to the changes as well as the recommendations proposed in it.