Mohammed bin Ahmad Al Bowardi, UAE Minister of State for Defense Affairs, inaugurated the annual conference of the Ministry of Defense titled ‘Leaders Conference: War in the 21st Century’, which will was held in Abu Dhabi over two days (24-25 October), Emirates News Agency WAM reported.
The sessions on the first day took place at the headquarters of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, ECSSR, while the sessions of the second day took place at the Rabdan Academy in Abu Dhabi.
The inauguration of the conference was attended by Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, General Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chief-of- Staff of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Saif Abdullah Al Shaa’far, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Interior and more than 700 leaders, experts, specialists and civil and military scholars at the national, regional and international levels.
Speaking at the conference, Al Bowardi said: “Following in the footsteps of the Founder, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the wise leadership in the UAE works today to establish the culture of innovation in the community, and hopes to unleash the creative energies of the future generations in the different fields of life including scientific, technological and administrative.”
“This has become an essential part of the national strategy related to managing the human resources, as the leadership believes that this is the correct method of transforming the future’s challenges to opportunities. It is also the ideal method to achieve the national strategic goals and targets represented in protecting the country’s existence on the long-term and achieving its security and stability and continuing the journey of its advancement and prosperity by utilizing its own capacity,” he added.
During the first session, which was held under the theme “Defending Countries in Future Wars” Michael D. Griffin, United States, US, Under-Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, affirmed that his country realizes that the wars in future cannot be won except through technological excellence.
He said that the American cooperation with the UAE is considered a comprehensive, old and diverse cooperation, and includes many defense and military activities, including determining the form of the wars of the future. He thanked the UAE for hosting this important conference which addresses an extremely important axis which is “National Defense in an Era of Technological Innovation.”
In the conference’s second session, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, spoke about the effect of Artificial Intelligence, AI on defense and national security. He said that there was an international arms race of a new kind revolving around AI and added that technological innovation in the field of defense could result in applications of a civilian nature.
He pointed out that technological innovation will face challenges, the most important of which is the morality related to AI applications and the possibility of terrorists obtaining advanced technologies.
He added that to face the challenges of technological innovation, it requires unified international legislation to regulate the use of AI, train the national adequacies, strengthen cooperation between the public and private sectors, and place mechanisms to deactivate the AI systems in case they are wrongfully used.
General Sir Richard Barrons, from the United Kingdom, asserted in his scientific paper which addressed the topic of “innovations courses”, that the forms of war continue to change.
“As we have seen in the previous decades, we can see some countries using firm force with a smaller amount of restraint as part of the hybrid methods for confrontation and struggle, adding that the technology which is produced for commercial purposes has a great influence on defense and security, particularly the data, and the power of processing, communication and social media,” he said.