The course examines an interdisciplinary field of cutting-edge research, that of new technologies, from the point of view of political theories and international relations. Due to its breadth, its analysis presupposes the examination of a series of technological and socio-political developments, such as the role of big data and cyberspace.
This course aspires to function as an introductory course, to acquaint students with a new subject, but with a significant impact in the field of political theory and practice, as well as in international relations.
Artificial Intelligence, already emphatically present, is emerging as a key issue worldwide, affecting almost all levels of human behavior. From intellectual property to military operations, from the arts, education, medicine and governance, to social policy, labor, economics and social policy, it raises concerns – even of an existential nature – but also opens, under conditions, positive prospects.
Artificial Intelligence has already reached the level of autonomous operation – that is, it does not require control of its functions by the developer – in relatively “narrow” fields of activity. In addition, in narrow fields it has already exceeded the mental capabilities of man.
At the same time, it is evolving in the direction of full autonomy, ie General Artificial Intelligence or Super-Intelligent Artificial Intelligence with the development of consciousness and the ability to act in wider fields.
The coupling of Artificial Intelligence with cyberspace, with the formation of entities that will achieve at the same time expanding autonomy and transnational or even universal spread, takes the form of algorithmic systems, with the possibility of autonomous choice of means to achieve or achieve autonomous choice of purposes, within the vast “universe” of cyberspace.
We are thus entering a historical period in which, non-human or non-human-led, intelligent – in a narrower or wider field – autonomous entities act by posing fundamental challenges to the structures of the international community as well as to political theories.
The proposed course, through the ontological analysis of Artificial Intelligence is articulated in two parts: first, it analyzes political theories of utilization and use of Artificial Intelligence both now and in the future, but also how the use of Artificial Intelligence will influence the shaping of policies theories and political models.
Second, it examines the impact of Artificial Intelligence on international relations from a dual perspective: from the perspective of an arms race and the general “conquest” of Artificial Intelligence by states and non-state actors, but also of the potential influence of Artificial Intelligence systems on for international relations.
The course is structured in the following sections:
1. Ontology of Artificial Intelligence: definitions, applications, perspectives and key features of – TN at a narrow level and General Artificial Intelligence – GTN. (1 lesson)
The controversial definitions of TN, the existing applications that show extended autonomy, the concept of consciousness in the human context and in the context of TN, the autonomy of the human programmer and its importance. The distinctions of TN: Narrow Artificial Intelligence and Strong Artificial Intelligence, which is distinguished in General Artificial Intelligence and Super-Intelligent Artificial Intelligence. Their distinctive features, the supposed features of Powerful Artificial Intelligence and their coexistence with human intelligence and human communities.
2. TN, cyberspace and big data: the big 5 and the impact on political behavior. (2 lessons)
The coupling of TN and cyberspace is examined from the point of view of the formation of entities that defy the traditional and dominant structures of the international community, as well as from the point of view of big data and their importance both in terms of TN and political models. The issue of the oligopolistic structure of high-tech companies and their attempt to define the flow of information, control their use and the process of so-called machine learning will be discussed. The implications at the level of political theory and practice will be analyzed.
3. Issues of popular participation and civil rights (2 courses)
This section addresses the impact of new technologies and TN on democracy issues and different institutional and theoretical approaches. TN will be analyzed from the perspective of inequalities arising from existing forms of TN but also its possible future applications, such as the ongoing coupling of machine and man, post-human societies, new forms of political communities. The question to be discussed concerns popular participation and democracy in the light of these developments, as well as political rights.
4. The commercial use of TN: who is entitled to benefit from autonomous creations? TN, labor and profit accumulation.
TN already produces or “creates” in the context of its autonomy, a condition that will be intensified in the future. Who is entitled to benefit when the human-programmer is not causally detected at the starting point of “creation” or production by TN? How is the production of TN valued and where should the produced product belong? The perspective of independent producers or a public space, within which the products of the autonomous operation of TN could belong. This course will discuss the issue of the 4th Industrial Revolution, which is largely led by TN, and its social and economic implications.
5. Theories of international relations and new technologies (2 courses)
This section deals with basic theories of international relations and how they adapt under the influence of new technologies. Realism, Marxism, liberalism and postmodern approaches to international relations are analyzed in the light of new technologies. How relevant are they and how are they affected in terms of their evolution? What is the impact on the issue of state sovereignty?
4. Transnational competition around TN and new technologies (2 courses)
This section deals with the transnational competition for the acquisition of a dominant position in the field of new technologies in general and TN in particular. In order to study the extent and the possible effects of this competition, reference will be made to the strategies of important powers, such as China, the USA, the UK, France, Russia, the EU. There will be a historical reference to previous international competitions around from the pursuit of technological advancement as well as the role they played in the development of international relations. Cases such as competition for 5G networks will be considered. Theories of international relations will be presented on this issue. Competition control and trading tools will be sought. The legal status of competition control.
6. The military use of TN: “killer robots”. (1 lesson)
TN has already entered the field of military technology with its use, in the context of expanding autonomy and with gradually less control by the human operator. The perspective is the development of weapons systems with the least possible human involvement. What will be the consequences? What are the arguments of the supporters and opponents of the so-called “killer robots”? Issues of arms control and the impact of armaments on international relations will be addressed. We will approach the different positions of the states on this issue. In addition, we will address issues of TN influence in relation to weapons systems in the use of force.
7. The role of TN for emerging forces and for non-state actors. (1 lesson)
In addition to the sovereign powers and the states in general, other states or non-state actors play a key role in the evolution of TN but also potentially benefit from its evolution. In this we will study how and to what extent emerging forces can claim a stronger role thanks to the nature of TN technology, as well as the benefits or risks in international relations from the involvement of non-state actors- and which- in the evolution of TN.
8. Conclusions: reflection on the future of TN (1 lesson)
In the last section we will discuss the future of political theories and international relations in the light of new technologies and TN. information and political rights will move under the influence of the aforementioned phenomena, either in their most limited or in their broadest and most posthuman version. The goal is to identify the prospects but also the risks, through creative discussion.