In a virtual address to the “AI and Cyber – An Abundance of Potential” conference on Monday (27 September 2021), Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană stressed that NATO is determined to set the standard for the ethical use of emerging and disruptive technologies.
Since the 2019 meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government in London, the Alliance has stepped up efforts to address the risks and opportunities related to new technologies like cyber and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Mr Geoană noted that NATO’s work has included the adoption of a new cyber defence policy, the launch of a Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) and the creation of a NATO Innovation Fund, which will help enhance cooperation with academia and start-ups developing dual-use technologies. These new initiatives also open opportunities for closer cooperation with other partners such as the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, he added.
The upcoming adoption of NATO’s first AI strategy will set the standard for ethical use of AI in the defence and security realm, the Deputy Secretary General said. Principles of accountability and governability will be at the core of this strategy and will drive NATO’s engagement with innovation entities to ensure that technological advances comply with international law and democratic values. Future strategies on other technological priority areas such as quantum, autonomy and human enhancement will follow the same approach, he said.
The conference was organised by the Bulgarian Digital National Alliance together with the Diplomatic Institute and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, with the support of NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division.