April 18, 2024

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Munich Security Conference: Technology is a focal point for global security

Munich Security Conference: Technology is a focal point for global security

The 60th Munich Security Conference (MSC) begins today, where technology will be highlighted as a focal point of global security for the first time. The report says that artificial intelligence and chip production are increasingly becoming weapons in geopolitical competition Security reportwhich was published on the occasion of the MSC.

According to the Ministry of Education (BMBF), Science Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger wants to take action against this while maintaining a balance with academic freedom. She also expressed a desire to see “increased measures” for research security. She talks about this today in three episodes at MSC. Stark-Watzinger concludes Part I with the following conclusion: “We must act as openly as possible and as privately as necessary.”

The trend of technological weaponization and disintegration

New technologies and the research behind them have driven economic globalization in recent decades and brought increasing prosperity to many countries. However, according to MSC's latest security report, this growth may be coming to an end as technology such as artificial intelligence, chip production and telecom infrastructure are identified as a potential security concern for the first time.

“As states increasingly use technology to control their geopolitical rivals, these new trends of technological weaponization and disintegration have implications for international security,” the UN Security Council report warns. Competition between China, the United States and Europe plays a role.

Competition in “Geography of the Technology Sector”

“China and the United States are competing for dominance in the field of artificial intelligence, but it is unclear who will come out ahead,” the report stated. In 2021, 40% of publications in AI journals came from Chinese companies and only 10% from US companies. The opposite applies to funding AI companies, where the USA leads with more than 500 companies and China still lags behind the EU with 160 companies (293).

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There is also significant competition in chip manufacturing, and the MSC report warns of a “subsidy race.” Due to serious bottlenecks, more chip factories are now being built outside Asia and are supported by US$43 billion in the USA and US$53 billion in Europe. Additionally, “since 2018, the United States and other democracies have restricted the use of Chinese devices in their 5G networks for espionage purposes,” the report said.

According to the Digital Security Council report, these trends are leading to “the politicization of the technology sector” and at the same time “a confrontation is unfolding between democratic and authoritarian visions of digital governance, as China, the European Union, and the United States use digital regulation and digital policies.” infrastructure to promote the export of their contradictory visions.” The old global networks will disintegrate and be replaced by new sets of political forces. Thomas Fassbender of the Berliner Zeitung demands in his book Reports preparation About MSC: “The courage to coexist in a multipolar world that is largely not what we want it to be and will never be as we would like it to be. This does not require a special fund worth billions, but an institutionalized, rational and sound realistic peace policy.”