Impacts of Artificial Intelligence on CBW Prohibition

A series of projects working to describe and classify potential impacts of AI on CBW prohibition regimes; enhancing opportunities and mitigating risks.

The impacts of Artificial Intelligence technologies on CBW prohibition regimes are various, with examples of AI-use in novel chemical design or target identification/allocation capturing significant public attention and policy effort. This stream of work aims to understand the emerging risks of AI for the CBW prohibition regimes with a focus on how AI integrates into existing challenges facing the regimes, the sites of most effective interventions and the actors that can be engaged to improve benefits and mitigate risks.

While highly technological and ‘existential’ risks are the more commonly cited and invoked concerns, there exist myriad risks to broader policy implementation and technology governance which have more chronic effects. At the core of both of these discussions, however, sits the problem of effectively balancing the potential benefits and potential risks of AI technologies. To do so, predictions of both the future developments of technology and the future progression of how technologies might be used are required and proliferating. In our work, we employ multiple methods (key stakeholder interviews, review of AI ethics codes, policy/media discourse analysis, and participatory workshops) to develop a diversity of scenarios for potential impacts from AI on CBW prohibition and policy implications stemming from them.

This work has been supported by two rounds of project-funding from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.

The stream of work is led by Dr. Joshua R Moon and Dr. Alexander Ghionis, with core support from Shaunna McIvor & Boaz Chan, and consulting support from the British American Security Information Council (BASIC).

The AI-CBW Chronology

The work stream produces a quarterly update of a chronology of events related to the impacts of AI on CBW prohibition. The latest version is available here: March 2024

Drivers of Change & Futures Wheels

A ‘Futures Wheel’ network map, developed by BASIC, drawing on workshop data from the project — available here. Please note this is a beta-version.

Reports/Working Papers:

‘Impacts of Artificial Intelligence on the CBW Prohibition Regimes: Analysis, Challenges, and Futures’ (2024). Joshua Moon, Alexander Ghionis, Shaunna McIvor, and Boaz Chan — available here

‘AI-Anxieties, dimensions of impact, and challenges to the CBW Conventions’ (2024) Alexander Ghionis; Working Paper — available here

Policy Briefs

‘AI-Anxieties: framing the Artificial Intelligence challenge within the CBW prohibition regimes’ (2024). Joshua Moon and Alexander Ghionis; Policy Briefing — Available in English

‘AI-Anxieties in the Chemical and Biological Weapons Prohibition Regimes’ (2023). Joshua Moon and Alexander Ghionis; Policy Briefing — Available in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish

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