SL Highlight Seminar: Introducing Dr. Simona Soare and Professor Joe Burton

Wednesday 18 October 2023, 1:00pm to 3:00pm


LUMS WPB007, Lancaster, United Kingdom, LA1 4YX

Open to

All Lancaster University (non-partner) students


Registration not required - just turn up

Event Details

SL Highlight Seminar: Introducing Dr. Simona Soare and Professor Joe Burton

Teams Link: Join Seminar (We’d appreciate if you could optionally register to join our mailing list)

Prof. Joe Burton

Artificial Intelligence and Human Security: Freedom from Fear, Freedom from Want and Freedom from the State

In 2022, the UN recognised the need for a deeper understanding of the connections between AI and human security, stating that “The security implications of digital technologies are often assessed through a national security lens”, and that “Applying a human security approach recentres the focus on implications for people.” This research paper therefore assesses the relationship between Artificial Intelligence and human security. Drawing on the notion of human security as ‘Freedom from Fear’, it begins with an analysis of how AI technologies cause and generate fear in people. I argue in this section of the paper that fear of AI technology has been a long-term historical phenomenon generated both by its uses, including in military and surveillance operations , and by the way it has been depicted. In this sense there has been a securitisation of AI accompanied by a discourse of fear that has created ontological anxiety in human populations across the globe. The fear generated by AI use and depiction has fed back into policy circles in ways that has led to the nationalisation and militarisation of policy in this space. The second section of the article relates to human security as ‘freedom from want’. In this section I problematise the use of AI in the economic sector and argue that the disruption that AI will cause to our economies will create new forms of economic disenfranchisement, inequality and division that directly impact human security. This section builds on and seeks to draw connections between recent work on AI as an extractive technology and the growing literature on AI as part of a modern practice of data colonialism. The third section of the article focuses on the relationship between human security and the state. It is argued that AI poses significant challenges to state sovereignty, including challenging state authority and legitimacy. In this section it is argued that national governments will struggle to facilitate human security in an AI context, and that states’ desires to centralise and control AI power will create various deleterious effects for people including and especially in authoritarian countries through the ongoing emergence of oppressive regimes of surveillance.

Dr. Simona Soare

Software-defined defence and the digital battlefield.

The conventional assumption in IR and particularly in Strategic Studies is that quantitative and the qualitative aspects of military (and industrial) power matter in warfare as well as in the context of strategic competition. My research challenges this assumption and offers empirical evidence to substantiate two structural changes in how we generate, exercise, and sustain hard power nowadays and into the future. The first change is the shifting relationship between military hardware and software in achieving operational advantage with broader implications for how we build, deploy, and use military power. The second change is in the impact that the deployment of digital capabilities has on the character of the contemporary ‘battlefield’, particularly around the shifting emphasis towards the ‘transparency’ of the battlefield and achieving cognitive (not just kinetic) effects. The presentation and subsequent discussion will focus on exploring these two dimensions.

Simona's talk will begin at 13.00 and finish at 13.30 with a 15 minute Q & A, followed by a talk by Joe Burton which will commence at 13.45 and finish at 14.15.

Contact Details

Name Mark Bellwood