The role of artificial intelligence in the Russian-Ukrainian war (Analysis)*

AA / Emine Celik**

As the Russian-Ukrainian conflict continues and negotiations have yet to yield results, the fighting has turned into arenas to test the role of advanced technologies and artificial intelligence in the war.
Cyberattacks, weapons integrated with artificial intelligence and platforms for spreading disinformation now have great capacities to change the course of developments on the ground in particularly sensitive conflict zones.

– Weapons using artificial intelligence

In recent years, artificial intelligence developers and civil society organizations have become increasingly concerned about the emergence of lethal autonomous weapons systems, considered to be “advanced in determining the target and killing people without human control”.
Although the use of autonomous weapons of any human control is still at the testing stage, the fact remains that these weapons have shown remarkable efficiency, given their ability to influence the course of wars and conflicts. .
In view of all these concerns and apprehensions, the United Nations Disarmament Commission recently held a meeting to discuss the restriction or even the prohibition of the use of autonomous weapons independent of all human control, and which operate using artificial intelligence.
However, this meeting did not lead to common and concrete decisions, insofar as many countries opposed the restriction or prohibition of the use of such weapons, in the forefront of which is the United States. , Russia, the United Kingdom, India and Israel.
Thus, this situation has opened the door to the use of lethal autonomous weapons using artificial intelligence in wars and conflicts and the continued development of autonomous weapons at a breakneck pace.

– Autonomous weapons in the Russian-Ukrainian war

Although we have not seen “killer robots” or even unmanned aerial vehicles in the Russian-Ukrainian war, the fact remains that we know full well that the protagonists of the conflict used autonomous weapons combined with ‘artificial intelligence.
Ukraine uses Turkish “Bayraktar TB 2” combat drones, which have autonomous take-off, landing and hover capabilities without human control. Likewise, said drone played a vanguard role in the attacks launched by Ukraine against Russian air defense systems, tanks and armored units.
Although “Bayraktar TB2” has the ability to take off, land and perform aerial sorties autonomously, the fact remains that this drone still needs a “human factor” to decide the when the laser-guided bombs are launched.
On the other hand, Moscow has drones with high autonomous capabilities of the “Lancet” and “Kub” type and which had already been used in Syria and Libya, according to the Russian authorities who indicated that this type of drones are in progress. for use in Ukraine too.
Other information indicated that the Russian forces sent URAN-9 type ground combat vehicles (UGVs) to Ukraine, which have high target detection capabilities and then track them automatically.

– Increase investments in weapons using artificial intelligence

It emerges from the International Report on Military Spending, published on April 26, 2021 by the Stockholm Institute for Peace Research in Sweden, that military spending has reached two trillion dollars worldwide.
According to the report, Russia was. for the second consecutive year, leading the countries in terms of growth in military spending, which reached $61.7 billion, concomitantly with the announcement by the Kremlin that the modernization of the army and investment in artificial intelligence are of particular importance and place in public spending.
It is in this context that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, had underlined in 2017 that artificial intelligence does not represent the future of Russia only but that of all of humanity, just as this field conceals opportunities grandiose while posing unpredictable threats today…the party that is at the forefront of this will lead the world.
It should be noted, in this context, that Putin attached particular importance to investment in the field of development of the use of artificial intelligence in Russia, while many analysts draw connections between earlier statements of Putin on the subject and the efforts that Russia has continued to make to develop, test and use military equipment combined with artificial intelligence.
Although the competition and the desire to join the front runners of the avant-garde countries in the field of artificial intelligence technologies, like China, the United States and India, are among the real motives that drive the Kremlin, however, Moscow’s interest in military artificial intelligence should not be reduced to the sole quest for power and influence.
In fact, the development of this sector will undeniably contribute to the promotion of several other fields of activity in Russia, which is why this country has worked, in recent years, to strengthen its efforts to integrate robots and artificial intelligence. in military systems, through, among other things, the establishment of a research and development network that covers military industries, the private sector and academia.
In addition to this, 600 new weapons and other military equipment were tested under combat conditions in Syria, including 200 new generation devices that use artificial intelligence.

– The impact of artificial intelligence in the fight against disinformation

In addition to all the aspects mentioned, artificial intelligence plays an active role in the raging media and disinformation war, alongside the central role assigned to it in the sensitive areas of combat between Russia and Ukraine.
The effect of optical disinformation, in particular disinformation on social networks, is developed thanks to the techniques offered by artificial intelligence. Many reports have spoken of Russian manipulation operations aimed at creating “deep fakes” through the spread of disinformation.
As part of the dissemination of disinformation, Russia spreads manipulated videos edited using artificial intelligence techniques to create a true and true copy of a personality and subsequently disseminate misleading information.
In turn, the Facebook and Twitter platforms revealed the existence of false false accounts that Russia would have created by resorting to the technique of “deep fake” and using artificial intelligence.
Facebook and Twitter said the accounts in question were spreading false information against Ukraine and its President Volodymyr Zelensky in order to support Russian propaganda.
The two web giants have taken the decision to block many accounts that work to spread false information using artificial intelligence.
The Ukrainian government has repeatedly warned the military and civilians to believe, without verification or cross-checking, any video clip attributed to Zelensky in which he announces the capitulation of kyiv or even clips showing soldiers surrendering their weapons. to Russian forces.
The proliferation of manipulated images and video clips currently circulating on social media platforms makes it difficult for many people to tell right from wrong, at the same time that social media platforms are working to refine and further develop its techniques of communication. intelligence to identify and subsequently remove fake videos.
In addition to the above, we can posit that social media platforms have taken significant steps to uncover and analyze the disinformation activities carried out by the Kremlin in the war in Ukraine.
In addition, these platforms have worked over the past four years to test networks that process high-precision programming software to combat fake news and intox.
In conclusion, I would like to point out that it seems that Russia has lost, at this stage, its mastery and its dominance in the war of disinformation that it has waged successfully for years against several countries. , foremost among which are Western countries.

*Translated from Arabic by Hatem Kattou

* The opinions expressed in this analysis engage only their author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial line of Anadolu Agency.

**Emine Celik: Expert in the fields of extremism, terrorism and cyberterrorism

Only part of the dispatches, which Anadolu Agency broadcasts to its subscribers via the Internal Broadcasting System (HAS), is broadcast on the AA website, in a summarized manner. Please contact us to subscribe.

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The role of artificial intelligence in the Russian-Ukrainian war (Analysis)*


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