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Big Data Has Potential to Eliminate Wars (If Only Politicians Let It), Give AI a Chance

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“Big data” could already be used to predict wars, but there is not enough political will to use technology to prevent conflicts, Dr. Andrej Zwitter, founder of the International Network Observatory, told Radio Sputnik.

Last week, Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, predicted that future wars will be fought over claims to large datasets.

“Big data is so powerful that nation states will fight over how much data matters,” he told the Google Cloud Next conference.

Dr. Andrej Zwitter, Professor of Ethics and International Politics at the University of Groningen and founder of the International Network Observatory, a think-tank, told Radio Sputnik that big data could actually be used to prevent wars, if there was enough political will to do so.

“The problem of predicting wars is not so much a problem of big data. We’ve been making huge advances in conflict studies since the 70s and are relatively good at predicting conflicts. We’re not so good at predicting the triggers of conflicts, when exactly they happen.”

“But even when we can do that, for example what we learned during the genocide in Rwanda, is that it is not only about being able to predict the conflict but also the political willingness, the investment in political freedoms and development that can prevent war.”

“Only once actual conflicts happen are we really willing to intervene and that is usually too late,” Zwitter said.
One of the key tools for the development of data is machine learning, in which computers learn to manipulate large datasets.

“As a sub-field of AI, machine learning is definitely one of the elements, such as pattern recognition and object recognition, in order to make sense of the different formats that we face in big data, such as pictures, videos, text messages. So indeed, machine learning will be one of the big disruptors of big data in the future,” Zwitter said.

Sputniknews

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