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Panel II · Governance & Geopolitics

The Future of Warfare: The New Cold War in 5G, AI, and Data Supremacy

Emerging technologies are changing the nature of warfare and rapid advances in unmanned systems, robotics, artificial intelligence, cyber, quantum, networking, and big data systems are already shaping the way wars will be fought in the coming decade. China is testing its surveillance technology in its “Uyghur 5G Warfare Lab” while their government has proclaimed data to be its “fundamental strategic resource” moving forward. Russian President Putin says the nation that leads in AI ‘will be the ruler of the world,’ a bold statement that is spurring a new arms race for dominant artificial intelligence. But the race to build autonomous weapons systems raises important questions about how and when humans might cede authority to machines that can act and react far faster than we can—increasing the potential risks to a catastrophic level. Factor in that artificial intelligence is being developed primarily by private enterprise, the way war is waged will fundamentally change as new stakeholders will wield enormously more power than governments and nation states historically have in the past. Cyber mercenaries, killer robots, and AI spies—it’s not science fiction anymore.

Earlier Event: August 18