News: Summary of the main debate: Emerging and disrupted technology from a gender perspective, 07-Jun-2022

On 7 June 2022, NATO’s International Military Staff (IMS) hosted its fourth substantive debate, focusing on the link between gender and emerging and disruptive technology (TE / TR) and more specifically artificial intelligence (AI). It discusses the use of responsible use principles to build trust and strong interoperability, with a focus on the importance of building data trust for the development of artificial intelligence by integrating gender dimensions. Mr. Wolf Ehlert, Head of Strategy and Policy, NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO), and Miss Joe Stanley-Lockman, Innovative Unit, Challenge Division, NATO Emerging Security (ESC). .

Emerging and disruptive technology based on values

Mr. Ehlert led an in-depth discussion on the themes of innovation, technology and values. He said that technological fields must “evolve with society through a process of mutual adaptation, and we all have different roles to play in shaping this development, the outcome of which cannot be determined in advance.” In TE / TR, he noted the difference between “emerging technology” and “disrupted technology”. Emerging technologies are conditioned by a recent scientific discovery or a new technological development that may mature over the next 20 years and whose ultimate impact on defense, security and / or institutional functions is still uncertain. The idea of ​​retention is so mature that. On the other hand, disruptive technologies are consistent with a scientific discovery or technological evolution that is expected to revolutionize defense, security and / or institutional functioning over the next 20 years. In this case, it’s more about the effect. NATO should adopt an evolutionary policy-making process that builds on current knowledge, but provides sufficient flexibility so that decisions made today can be adapted or modified tomorrow. To learn more about this, see Ehlert’s article on why our technology choices should be guided by our values.

Gender dimensions and artificial intelligence

Gender dimensions and artificial intelligence

Mrs. Joe Stanley-Lockman focuses more specifically on the integration of gender and AI. He noted that the three waves of AI focused on craft knowledge, statistical learning, and contextual adaptation, respectively. Moravek’s paradox shows that for AI, high-level reasoning requires very little calculation but low-level efficiency requires more resources. Mrs Stanley-Lockman added: “An AI system can easily determine which person is in a national park with an image, but more difficult if there are birds.” AI systems do not reproduce human reasoning and so we cannot consider explaining all the decisions made by an AI system. When it comes to penile intersections, one of the current problems is bias in design choices It is possible to reduce bias by asking the following questions: what problem are we trying to solve, what values ​​are created by AI, what data can we use, who will use the AI ​​system. Mrs. Stanley-Lockman gave some examples of gender stereotypes related to under-preparation of female figures in the results of online searches for general jobs and gender issues in machine translation. Ignoring these stereotypes could have a negative impact on NATO. For example, if we train AI systems on unrepresented data, we run the risk of developing unexpected performance in real-world situations.

What is the path for NATO?

NATO’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy (2021) focuses on the development of responsible AI systems by design. Countries have approved six responsible use policies for AI, namely legitimacy, accountability, comprehensibility and searchability, reliability, governance and mitigation of bias. Design choices for AI should be started before the initial development to properly integrate the gender. For more information, please see a brief overview of NATO’s artificial intelligence strategy. NATO has established itself as a driving force for responsible innovation and therefore appears to be strategically necessary. Furthermore, compliance with these principles provides effective value. Since reducing bias is one of the six basic principles adopted by NATO, the Alliance seeks to integrate the gender dimension with the development of AI-capable capabilities as well as the firmness of the AI ​​system against aggression. Since TE / TR and AI will be seen as tools for measuring and accelerating military decision-making, NATO must ensure that they do not measure biased results.

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