Skip to main content

24 August 2023

As developments in Artificial Intelligence continue at pace, there remains much uncertainty about how it could impact on our world. Professor Kenneth Payne’s work is helping to support decision-makers and bring together different communities so we can better understand and prepare for how AI might affect issues of national and global security.

While once it might have seemed that Artificial Intelligence was just the domain of computer scientists or sci-fi writers, it has already become clear that AI is changing our world in so many different ways.

One of these is around its role in national and global security, which is the focus of research and teaching by Professor Kenneth Payne, Professor of Strategy in the School of Security Studies. His work includes considering the past, current and future uses of AI by military and intelligence organisations, its impact on tactics and strategy, plus the new ethical and regulatory questions it raises.

As he outlines in this short Impact Showcase video below, he works with military and government practitioners, civil servants and parliamentarians as they try to come to terms with this innovative technology and establish what legislation and regulation might be appropriate for it.

He also works at the intergovernmental level as various countries come together to discuss key issues such as the ethics of using artificial intelligence in autonomous weapon systems.

He says part of his work is around contextualising the issue to bring some historical understanding of how technology has featured in previous wars, or about the history of Artificial Intelligence.

Another aspect of his work is bringing together various communities including social scientists, those working in arts and humanities, policymakers and those working on the latest technical developments of AI.

I see my role as partly a convenor, bringing together those communities to help everybody exchange ideas about what is the best thing to do.

Professor Kenneth Payne.

The creation of the King’s Institute for Artificial Intelligence is playing a role by bringing together these different communities with those teaching and researching the field within higher education.

It is an exciting forum where you can get people who are working on AI in the arts to talk to people really working at the frontiers of computer science. It is that exchange of ideas that is interdisciplinary and is fundamental to what Kings’ does anyway and what the AI Institute itself is doing.

Professor Kenneth Payne

Impact in the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Find out more about how research in the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy is having an impact on international security debates, policy and practice here.

SocietyTechnology & Science

In this story

Kenneth Payne

Professor of Strategy