Internet, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Technologies –
Implications for Security and Foreign Policy
January 20, 2021
“We are now witnessing intense political debates about the global future of the internet and fierce international competition over the leadership in artificial intelligence (AI).” This was stated by Dr. Daniel Voelsen, Senior Associate, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, in his presentation at the Online Workshop on “Internet, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Technologies – Implications for Security and Foreign Policy” organized by the Arms Control & Disarmament Centre (ACDC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) in collaboration with the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) Pakistan on January 20, 2021.
Stressing on the security policy implications of the internet, AI, and quantum technologies, Dr. Voelsen said that these technologies create great opportunities but also new security risks like advanced cyber-attacks, lethal autonomous weapons (LAWS), and breaking the existing encryption mechanisms. Talking about the foreign policy implications, he said that states have different AI visions, data management mechanisms, and cyber ideologies that would lead to greater geopolitical confrontation in the future.
While welcoming the participants, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General ISSI, said that international regulatory processes vis-à-vis these technologies are much slower than the pace of defacto technological development. “We need to understand that how fast this spectrum of technological change especially the quantum change will take place and how the international community will adapt to this change,” he added.
In his remarks, Mr. Steffen Kudella, Resident Representative, Hanns Seidel Foundation Pakistan, said that technological developments such as digitization are and will be one of the greatest game-changers for the future of humanity.
Earlier in his introductory remarks, Malik Qasim Mustafa, Director ACDC, said that AI and cyber technologies are going to change state behavior in major ways. AI and cyber technologies are acting as “agents of change,” and have the potential to transform our future including our national security. Furthermore, quantum technology is not only opening doors to new technologies but is also enhancing the great power competition for “quantum supremacy.” At the end of the workshop, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman BoG ISSI, stated that developing states have to raise awareness about the global technological transformations. They should also focus on engaging relevant stakeholders, invest in research and development, enhance public-private partnerships, and achieve indigenization in various fields of emerging technologies.