The Finnish Defence Forces

Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence in Defence

Defence Command 9.9.2019 9.00
Press release

The rapid development of technology is transforming society extensively and profoundly. In particular, accelerating digitalization and the increasing numbers of AI applications will revolutionize defence, too, creating both opportunities and threats. New technologies pose challenges on defence administrations across the world urging them to develop their operations and know-how.

Europe will have to keep abreast with the technological development and turn the opportunities it brings into developing military capabilities. The vulnerabilities resulting from technological development, including cyber threats and electronic warfare capabilities, must also be taken into account. Defence must be developed on a sound legal and ethical basis respecting international humanitarian law.

Finland wants to raise discussion among the EU countries about the development of artificial intelligence and digitalization and their implications for the defence sector. The objective is to identify the tools the European Union has for developing national and European know-how and technologies. It is important to seek cooperation opportunities both within the European Union and with partners such as NATO and the United States.

On 9 September 2019, the Finnish Defence Forces will organize a seminar entitled Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence in Defence in Helsinki. Part of the official programme of the Finnish Presidency of the European Union, the seminar will be hosted by the Defence Forces Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategy, Lieutenant Colonel Kim Jäämeri.  The European Union Military Committee will be the seminar’s honorary guests. In total, some 200 participants from companies, academia and the defence administrations of EU Member States have been invited to the seminar.

The seminar features expert speakers including Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nokia; Lieutenant General Esa Pulkkinen, Director General of the European Union Military Staff; Director of Digitalization of Airbus Defence and Space Peter Weckesser; and Leo Heng, Design Director of Reaktor.

The goal of the event is to provide an opportunity for identifying the key technology trends and analyzing their defence implications. The seminar debates also aim at laying a foundation for ethical considerations and appropriate regulation of new defence technologies.