On Monday, Reuters shared a report about the European Commission’s concerns regarding the use of certain advanced technologies as potential weapons by countries that may not share similar values.
These technologies include semiconductors, artificial intelligence (AI), quantum technologies, and biotechnologies. Depending on how they’re used, these technologies can have harmful applications.
For example, semiconductors are the brains behind gadgets like radar systems and communication equipment. When these are adapted for military purposes, they can become weapons. Some highly advanced weapons use semiconductors to create powerful energy beams.
Think about drones and self-driving vehicles; they can operate independently with the help of AI. While they have useful applications, they could also be used for harmful activities, like attacks or surveillance.
AI can make cyberattacks more potent. Malicious software with AI capabilities can infiltrate computer systems, causing damage, stealing sensitive data, and conducting espionage.
Moreover, AI can enhance the precision of weapons by helping them identify and target objects more accurately. This is especially important for missile defense systems and guided munitions.
Quantum computers are exceptionally fast and can potentially crack encryption methods swiftly, which could be misused by countries with malicious intentions.
Biotechnology is another concern. It can be utilized to create dangerous biological agents or modify living organisms, including humans, for military purposes.
Fortunately, the European Commission is fully aware of these risks. They are working alongside their member states to thoroughly assess these technologies by the end of the year and take steps to reduce potential risks.
While these technologies can improve security and defense, they can also pose new threats if used inappropriately. International efforts are underway to establish guidelines for their responsible use in military and security contexts to prevent potential escalation and maintain stability. The question remains whether these efforts will be sufficient to prevent unfriendly nations from weaponizing these technologies.