Speaker: Andrea Gilli, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

What are the consequences for international politics of the emergence of robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence: the so-called second machine age? Are these new technologies going to promote instability and conflict, as many warn, or are they going to reinforce U.S. military primacy. How are they going to affect warfare, use of force, and even world politics? The literature in international relations theory has generally neglected technology and its dynamics and thus does not offer clear guidance.

The first part of this project tries to address this problem by looking at the effects on seapower of the first machine age—the introduction of the steam engine, quick-firing long-range guns, and analogic fire-control systems (among others). By discussing different hypotheses concerning the role of technological change on deterrence, military strategy, employment of weapons as well as combat performance, it aims at helping understand both current and future trends.

Please join us! Coffee and tea provided. Everyone is welcome, but admittance will be on a first come–first served basis.

For more information, email the International Security Program Assistant at susan_lynch@harvard.edu.