Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Panel 410: UACES Research Network Panel: INTERSECT Panel: From the Cyber Domain to Artificial Intelligence
Tuesday, 03/Sep/2019:
10:50am - 12:20pm

Session Chair: Raluca Csernatoni, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Location: Anfiteatro 10

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UACES Research Network Panel: INTERSECT Panel: From the Cyber Domain to Artificial Intelligence

Chair(s): Raluca Csernatoni (Vrije Universitei Brussels (VUB))

Discussant(s): Bruno Oliveira Martins (Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO))

This panel explores new security practices stretching from the cyber domain to Artificial Intelligence (AI). It will focus on issues such as the relationship between cyberconflict and common militarised disputes, the EU’s role in regulating online content, namely in countering online disinformation, and the way the EU frames its approach to AI. The papers in this panel will explore a broader development by which the online domain and AI inter-relate with more conventional forms of conflict and politics. This panel is part of the UACES Research Network INTERSECT.


Presentations of the Symposium


The Battlefield and the Wire: Linking Cyber Incidents and Militarized Disputes

Adelaide Baronchelli, Roberto Ricciuti
University of Verona

This paper analyses the relationship between cyberconflict and common militarised disputes, to understand whether they are complements or substitutes. We first individually analyse the evolution of the network of cyber incidents and militarised disputes through Social Network Analysis over the period from 2001 to 2015, then we study their interaction through the multilayer networks approach. Results show that the relationship between these two networks is stabilising over time towards complementarity.


Living among Trolls, Bots, and Democracy: Understanding the EU’s Approach Countering Online Disinformation

Sofia Martins Geraldes

In recent years, there has been a growing interest and effort to analyse the European Union’s role in the promotion of security in the cyberspace. However, the research has focused on how the EU approaches threats that emerge from the use of cyberspace to disrupt and/or destroy critical information and communication infrastructures, whereas threats that emerge from the use of cyberspace to manipulate perceptions and behaviours is still understudied. In this context, the rise of network technologies such as social media emerges as particularly challenging. Social media’s technological characteristics enable state and non-state actors to, through a low-cost, almost immediate and global way, manipulate societies’ minds in order to cause disruptive behaviour. These digital platforms have been used to promote old techniques, such as disinformation, in a more refined way, allowing the sophisticated development of what John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt (1993) named as “netwar(fare)”. These challenges are particularly demanding for democratic institutions because they can involve certain actions that can collide with fundamental democratic values and principles, namely regarding the protection and promotion of human rights, such as data protection and freedom of expression. Therefore, the aim of this research is to question whether the EU’s role in regulating online content, namely in countering online disinformation, does not undermine the protection and promotion of democracy’s fundamental values and principals, which is in its assumed role as a security provider.


Policy framing of AI in the EU in a Comparative Perspective: Global Race, Revolution & Values

Inga Ulnicane
De Montfort University

Against the background of recent hype surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI) around the world, this paper aims to analyse how the European Union frames its approach to AI. The paper uses policy framing approach to analyse facts, values and interests represented in AI policy documents recently launched by EU institutions and stakeholders discussing economic and social risks and benefits, ethical and legal frameworks and unique EU contribution to AI.

The paper critically engages with discourses such as ambition ‘to become a leader in the AI revolution, in its own way and based on its own values’ stated in the European Commission’s 2018 communication on AI. Questions addressed include: How are EU values such as human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights incorporated in the AI governance? How do AI policies balance ideas of EU as normative power, market power and emerging military power? What are major differences among EU institutions and stakeholders in the way they frame AI?

To get a better understanding of what is specific to EU approach to AI, it will be analysed in a comparative perspective. Firstly, it will be compared to AI policies developed in other countries and regions including US, China and India. This analysis draws on a database that currently includes more than 60 AI policy documents adopted in 2016-2018 by national governments, international organisations, business and civil society. Secondly, it will compare EU approach to AI with its policies to other emerging technologies such as nano.

EU Cybersecurity: a Britain-less Future?

André Barrinha1, Helena Farrand-Carrapico2

1University of Bath; 2Northumbria University

The EU has, in the last few years, set in motion a series of policies, institutions and initiatives that is changing the cybersecurity landscape in Europe: from a directive (NIS) that forces companies to disclose cyber-attacks to the development of a joint EU approach against large-scale cyber-attacks. As Britain is one of the most advanced member states in this field, Brexit will certainly have an impact on the development of EU’s approach to cybersecurity. This paper has three main ambitions in that regard. First, to take stock of the UK’s contribution to EU’s cybersecurity. Second, to assess the terms of the future relationship between Brussels and London in terms of cybersecurity. Third, to discuss the future direction of EU’s cybersecurity policy. By looking at this policy area, it will be possible to offer some potentially relevant insights on two issues beyond cybersecurity: on the role larger member states play in developing policy initiatives, and the on the UK’s track record as a net contributor to EU’s security actorness.

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