Conflict prevention: AI can help but also harm

Krisztina Csortea on the ethical issues raised when applying technology to humanitarian crises

The World Today Updated 11 May 2022 Published 1 April 2022 2 minute READ

Krisztina Csortea

Managing Editor, International Affairs, Communications and Publishing

According to the UN High Commission for Refugees, by the end of 2021 there were 84 million forcibly displaced people in the world as a result of ‘persecution, conflict, violence and human rights violations’. To this number would have been added the 10 million Ukrainians who have been displaced by the Russian invasion. 

At the same time, the Munich Security Report 2022 noted that recent failures have called into question whether the international community can effectively respond to emergencies, such as those seen in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and Afghanistan. 

In the near future, crises are likely to become only more complex, due to mounting challenges from global health risks, poverty and climate change. Faced with increasing needs, lack of resources and more stringent reporting requirements from funders, humanitarian organizations have turned to new technologies. These offer clear benefits but raise ethical concerns. 

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