Artificial Intelligence will transform our planet
Dr Jamal Sanad Al Suwaidi, UAE Author and Director-General of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research/Gulf News
It is likely to pose several fundamental questions to officials and experts in future studies, national security and political
It is agreed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the hurricane or tsunami that would transform our planet, impacting all fields and questioning the decades-long commonly accepted facts. In this regard, the political sphere is not exempt from the impacts of AI in terms of interstate relations in terms of balance and interaction of international relations, the level of domestic policies, the mechanisms to make and implement policies, and the active players in them.The impact AI has on domestic policies has positive and negative aspects. Explaining them requires large-scale and in-depth studies; however, I will try to briefly outline them.
1. AI technology allows ordinary citizens to play a greater role to impact public policy, as it provides them with big data and permits them to oversee the government action more effectively, unveiling all forms of corruption or wrongdoing. Moreover, this allows for further pressure on governments through what we may call Cyber Mobilisation, due to the considerable potentials of cyber platforms that have increasingly become, because of technological advances in communications, more difficult for governments to ban or control. This means that the role of institutions that traditionally echo and defend people’s interests and concerns, such as political parties, parliaments, and civil societies, would gradually diminish, as citizens have acquired, thanks to modern technology and primarily AI, new tools and mechanisms to express their ideas and defend their own interests.
In the same context, AI consolidates the concept of Open Government, which means increasing the dissemination of information and enhancing the principles of transparency, which allows people to learn more about government action and to contribute to drawing plans and strategies by taking into account their thoughts, suggestions, and opinions before the adoption of these plans and strategies. The open government concept, adopted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) among others, has gained remarkable international attention, mainly in the context of efforts to fight corruption and ensure financial transparency. The Global Open Data Index, annually issued by the non-profit UK-based Open Knowledge International, ranks countries in terms of public access to different government data.
2. AI may provide significant support to decision-makers. First, it allows them to thoroughly and precisely examine any amount of information within a short time frame, thus understand them more deeply and comprehensively.
Second, AI allows decision-makers to learn more about people’s thoughts and tendencies analyse them, and predict their future trends by examining people’s activities in social media platforms and online search engines, or even through their hobbies, lifestyles, readings, or the music they listen to. Therefore, decision-makers can reach quick and precise results, allowing them to make decisions based on accurate knowledge of people’s orientations.
Third, AI significantly allows decision-makers to expect the future course of events nationally, regionally, and internationally, by utilising specialised programmes; therefore, helping them to make the right decision in terms of domestic and foreign policies.Fourth, studies indicate that robots can autonomously make decisions in light of the information they receive, which gives decision-makers a wide range of options to address any emerging issue or crisis.
Fifth, AI helps decision-makers to easily and effectively deliver their message to the public regarding any issue, by resorting to techniques that would rapidly deliver the message taking into account the target’s educational level, social status, and field of work.
3. AI technology facilitates the tasks of leaders and officials, because it provides them with programmes and techniques that would allow for following-up and monitoring work process, as well as spotting defects, in order to accurately and rapidly address them, which is not possible with traditional mechanisms including periodical meetings and field visits. This technology permits governments to save considerable time, effort, and money.
4. AI technology actually serves decision-makers and facilitates government action; however, it paves the way for new competitors and entities capable of impacting the policy-making processes, primarily technology firms that possess AI techniques. Such firms, local or foreign, would have significant influence on economic, political, and security arenas, and would intervene in public affairs. Certainly the influence of foreign companies would be more dangerous, since sovereignty and national interests would be threatened.