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Political Science / International Relations Moritz Weiss

September - October 2022

Weaponizing states in the digital age? Governments, firms and artifical intelligence (with Sven van Hove)

Digitalization is arguably transforming the traditional monopoly of large arms contractors to help governments in their attempt to provide national security. For instance, numerous states advance military applications of Artifical Intelligence (AI) to make their computer systems resilient or they even weaponize AI in the form of lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS). As a result, information technology (IT ) companies will arguably evolve in a powerful position as gatekeepers to relevant technology.
Some scholars thus stress the superiority of private actors over governments. It is argued that the state has been a latecomer in cyberspace, which has guaranteed IT companies a comparative advantage in their interactions with governments. By contrast, other scholars point out that governments are regaining the driver’s seat. While private firms remain relevant, they argue, it is politically accountable governments, which are shaping the future of cooperation and conflict.
Against this backdrop, we will tackle the question of what the effect of today’s digital revolution will be on the relationship between governments and increasingly capable IT-firms? The airm of our project is to address this challenge by considering both how states build capacities and how they set rules to govern the digital era; and we will focus on the interactions between governments and firms. In this collaborative effort, we will draw on our experiences in both academic research and policy-making to produce some insights into the political processes of weaponizing AI.

Biography

PD Dr. Moritz Weiss is a senior lecturer in International Relations and European Studies at the LMU University of Munich. He held visiting professorships in Hanover and Munich and was a Jean-Monnet-Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. His research focuses on the regulatory security state, the political economy of defense industries and cybersecurity.


Publications

Among other, Moritz Weiss has published in Security Studies, Journal of Global Security Studies, Review of International Political Economy, Journal of Common Market Studies, and Journal of European Public Policy.

Selected publication

Weiss, Moritz (2021) ‘The rise of cybersecurity warriors?’, Small Wars & Insurgencies, 33(1-2), pp. 272-293, DOI: 10.1080/09592318.2021.1976574

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