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Emerging Disruptive Technologies and Risk Reduction

Nuclear weapons have unique catastrophic effects.  Reducing risks of their use is a key element of reducing existential risks. Our researchers and members study the intersections between nuclear weapons and emerging and disruptive technologies, as a contribution to nuclear risk reduction. Our research looks in particular at the growing complexity that the simultaneous emergence of multiple disruptive technologies introduces. We aim to provide guidance for decision makers on how they can maintain strategic stability and make progress towards arms control and disarmament under such circumstances. ELN experts also examine the question of whether other technologies could eventually present similarly catastrophic risks as nuclear weapons.



Deterrence of non-nuclear strategic threats: the case against deterring new technologies

The US, Russia, and the UK have explicitly stated their intention to deter non-nuclear strategic threats from new technologies with nuclear weapons. ELN Senior Policy Fellow Julia Berghofer writes that this could have destabilising effects, opening the door to new vulnerabilities and escalation risks. The N5 should discuss these policies as part of their longstanding dialogue on nuclear doctrines, and a public debate is required to explore potential alternative approaches.

23 July 2024 | Julia Berghofer

The fast and the deadly: When Artificial Intelligence meets Weapons of Mass Destruction

Ahead of the German Federal Foreign Office’s Artificial Intelligence and Weapons of Mass Destruction Conference 2024, the ELN’s Policy and Research Director, Oliver Meier, argues that governments should build guardrails around the integration of AI in the WMD sphere, and slow down the incorporation of AI into research, development, production, and planning for nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

27 June 2024 | Oliver Meier