Artificial Intelligence in EU Defence
MEPs of The Left in the European Parliament’s Security and Defence Committee (SEDE) have commissioned a study on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in EU defence planning. The study examined the threats and impacts posed by new AI applications.
The current spiral of rearmament does not only mean swarms of drones and killer robots, but also threatens to erase the difference between war and peace, civilians and combatants. The danger of a creeping loss of control is real. International law will then become meaningless.
EU armament policy assumes that in future unmanned and autonomous systems will be deployed in large numbers and often in swarms in all domains (land, air, sea, space, cyber). It is also actively driving this development itself and is already using autonomous systems for inhumane refugee defence in the Mediterranean. This will change the nature of war as well as our everyday lives, increasingly erasing the distinction between the two.
The author Christoph Marischka has investigated which EU armament programmes (EDIDP, EDF and PESCO) contain AI and what the political and factual consequences are. The field of application of artificial intelligence in the military is wide: swarms of drones for surveillance, computer systems that suggest targets and calculate optimal lines of fire, chatbots that inspire young people for military service and disguise real war. AI is already a priority in EU armament programmes, also to keep up with China, Russia and the USA. With this goal in mind, the Commission and the EU budget have been transformed in recent years to further expand armament, warfare capabilities and geopolitical competition. Instead of participating in this insane arms race, it would be necessary for the security of all of us if the EU were to work full force for the regulation or complete ban of autonomous weapons systems and cyberwar.
In this context, civil society campaigns against militarily used AI such as “Cyberpeace” and “Stop Killer Robots”. However, these campaigns – in contrast to the arms industry – are not funded by the EU Commission with hundreds of millions of euros annually.