Emerging technologies have influenced international politics and decision-making for decades. Prominent examples include the introduction of nuclear weapons during the second half of the twentieth century as well as the ongoing development of the Internet and social media as parts of everyday life. Continuing this trend is the effect that artificial intelligence and machine learning will have on state behavior and civilian life.

The United States Mission to the United Nations (USUN) works to promote America’s interests in the international system. Central to this task is representing the United States at the UN Security Council, the UN’s primary decision-making body for matters concerning international peace and security. The Mission has tasked the Capstone team to prepare a final report that will serve as the basis for the American delegation’s introduction of AI and machine learning as an item on the Security Council’s agenda.

This project identified the role of AI and machine learning in international affairs and security. The report first outlined the threats that arise out these emerging technologies, such as those relating to political life, warfare, and the economy. In addition to these challenges, the research project also addressed opportunities that the technology brings and their application to fields like humanitarian relief and peacekeeping. Finally, the report recommended three options for how the Security Council can limit the dangers of AI. The specific goals for the final report was to lay the foundation for a draft resolution, presidential statement, or any other official UN Security Council document to be proposed by the US delegation in their Security Council Presidency beginning in December 2019.