Emerging Technologies of AI and Data Analytics: The Need for Regulatory Changes

The current period in time of the 21st century is characterized by the high and advanced tech systems which are integrated to almost every walk of our lives. The emerging technologies are moving rapidly and transforming the lives of the human beings. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Big Data technology has been around for decades, governments have been paying increased attention to these technologies in recent years, as the interactions between AI technologies, Big Data and political, social, and economic systems have increased in scale, scope, and impact. “Artificial intelligence is that activity devoted to making machines intelligent, and intelligence is that quality that enables an entity to function appropriately and with foresight in its environment.” “Big data refers to the large, diverse sets of information that grow at ever-increasing rates. It encompasses the volume of information, the velocity or speed at which it is created and collected, and the variety or scope of the data points being covered (known as the “three v’s” of big data).”

There is a global race to develop, own, finance, dominate, and propagate artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. This will saturate the competition of the future and further divide nations based on their ability to capture these gains in a competitive global landscape. The concerned “researches and developments” are moving at a surprising pace. This rush for advancement has enabled these dual-use technologies to be disruptive as these emerging technologies are leading to the development and deployment of new military capabilities that could undermine the strategic stability.

States are seeking to rush their efforts in order to expand the digital hegemony through AI platform and data dominance. The explosive growth of electronic data for analysis is boosting the impact of AI. The big data growth is exceeding the human brain’s ability to digest and understand what it is learning. Over the recent few years, analytics have been improved in efficiency, speed, and reduced in costs. These are also being employed in the cyber-space and are now considered essential tools in the information warfare. Hence, these techs are emerging as non-traditional security threats for states given the vulnerable nature possibly exploitable.

Emerging technologies may shape the balance of power among the states. According to Realism, state’s national interests are primary, and they should be advanced in all circumstances and by all means available at the state’s disposal, may they be economic, military or diplomatic, and through hard or soft power alike. Realists explain international politics as being governed by the pursuit of power and self-interest, and by a lack of trust between states. Since all states seek to maximize power in such a lawless world, realism emphasizes the prevalent nature of conflict and competition in world politics. This in turn validates the acquisition of military capabilities by states, sufficient at least to deter attacks in a dangerous and uncertain world. So, the states are actively and aggressively exploring and pursuing for AI and other emerging technologies for an edge over their competitors.

“The existing regulatory control regimes need to be readjusted to mitigate the dark side of the emerging new technologies of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data analytics”

The drive of technological advances for different purposes is faster than laws and regulations needed for preserving data privacy or sensitive information, and concerns for technologies versus the governments’ dimensions of security paradigms. The emerging technologies, on the other hand, require multilateral or unilateral treaties for regulation of their use and their non-proliferation. Technologies like AI, vast databases, sensor data, and information operations are intangible and may not be easily subject to traditional solutions such as arms control treaties. The existing governance mechanisms including arms control regimes seem to be insufficient to capture new technologies. However, with the potential opportunities provided by the emerging technologies such as big data and the AI integrated systems, not much has been done in regulation of these technologies. The relevant states and international bodies as that of UN have adopted a wait and see approach to the advancements. All of them are painfully slow in their response and no restrictions are there on nation-states or companies building, developing and integrating and hence, exploiting these emerging technologies. This lack of regulation or relevant international laws is challenging and it may furthermore become more problematic if no progress is made in this regard.

In order to preserve the security landscape of the world, the establishment of norms of behavior such that of Tallinn Manual (2009) a standard for normative behavior in cyber operations; use of law enforcement and developing some soft measures such as codes of conduct for scientists, communities of researchers, industries and enterprises and new legal processes may enhance cooperation among states and prove to be more suitable approaches for regulating the proliferation of these disruptive and dangerous technologies.


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