Peace in AI Times

A Kent State professor’s presentation will explore the benefits and possible abuses of artificial intelligence in transforming global peace and conflict

The growth and spread of the influence of artificial intelligence (AI) has already impacted the way people think as well as the global economy. However, it also has contributed to the global spread of misinformation, unemployment and insecurity.

Tatsushi Arai, Ph.D.

The two sides of this constantly evolving story are the focus of a webinar presentation by Tatsushi Arai, Ph.D., from 9:30-10:15 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14.

Arai said, “When the application of artificial intelligence (AI) harms the body, mind or both, depriving them of life's essential needs and causing mental or physiological suffering, this suffering is real and it must be recognized as such. Our endeavors to establish and enforce safeguards on AI innovations and use, along with the innovations in all other forms of new technologies, should prioritize the overarching objective of preventing and eliminating suffering while advancing equity, harmony and the sustainable coexistence of humanity with nature.”

Arai is an associate professor in Kent State University’s School of Peace and Conflict Studies. His interest in nonviolent means of conflict resolution began at age 15, while he was living in a rural part of eastern Japan, where he was born and raised, when he first met victims of radiation sickness in Hiroshima.

Tatsushi Arai, Ph.D.

His passion for peace has taken him to locations around the world. In his long career, Arai has served as a mediator, dialogue facilitator, trainer, mentor, advisor, consultant, program evaluator and peace researcher on four continents.

Graphic for International Peacemaking Webinar

Peacemaking in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Arai’s webinar presentation is titled “International Peacemaking in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: Toward a Theory of Contextual Transformation.” In light of the significant and far-reaching cultural shifts that will come with use of AI, Arai is developing a conflict resolution dialogue method that will allow participants from different sides of the social and political spectrums, to come together to reflect on the implications of AI and other emerging global technologies as they apply to their conflict. Specifically, the presentation will discuss Arai’s findings from his ongoing efforts to apply this method to the conflict across the Taiwan Strait, between the Nationalist Republic of China in Taiwan and the Communist People’s Republic of China of mainland China.

In integrating his research into the classes he teaches, Arai said, “I have coined the term 'contextual transformation' to describe a coming seismic shift in our foundational assumptions of international conflict and resolution, urging researchers and policymakers to take these roles and resulting changes seriously. I have started integrating the insights from this action research into my teaching where applicable. In the upcoming spring semester, I will instruct a new graduate course, Conflict-Sensitive Development, and an undergraduate course, Introduction to Conflict Management. In the recent fall semester, I taught International Conflict Resolution and Introduction, both at the undergraduate level.”

Discussion of AI and Conflict Studies

Knowing What is Real and What is Misinformation in the Age of AI

In sorting through AI-generated information and misinformation, active participation is key, Arai said. This includes participation as sponsors, producers, beneficiaries and even victims of AI technologies in public discussions about policies ethics and consequences. He said that knowing the financial incentives, politics and ideologies involved in the creation of the information is how we can enhance our awareness and judgement.

“Moreover, we must collectively prioritize efforts to mainstream media and AI literacy to counter the growing spread of misinformation and disinformation,” Arai said. “International news channels, such as France 24, regularly provide critical analyses of popularized social media posts featuring misinformation. Media organizations, educators, civil society actors, and policymakers must amplify these and other efforts to expand media and AI literacy, with a particular emphasis on the youth, minorities, and marginalized populations.”

Our Kent State Community

Arai’s research and teaching, and the mission of the School of Peace and Conflict Studies are in harmony with the foundational values of the university, in learning lessons from history and applying them to address the problems of a changing society. Our graduates are prepared with the skills they need for success in their chosen careers with kindness, respect and a global perspective to become positive, well-rounded global citizens.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 12, 2023 04:06 PM
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2023 04:08 PM
Phil B. Soencksen