Artificial Intelligence and Countering Terrorism

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Machines and systems today display simulations of the intellectual and cognitive processes that are possessed by humans. A foreknown certainty as to the revolution that artificial Intelligence shall bring about correspondingly, talks of the transformations in national security as well. Transformations that are to be so overwhelming that many nations have already started creating applications that will assist them in numerous military tasks. In a similar fashion terrorist organizations and violent extremists have found these profound ways, exploited them, and are trying to procure new technologies for recruitment purposes and ideological impelling. The internet is now an elementary medium for terrorism and extremism with its profound transmutations characterized by anonymity and an umpteen audience. It provides the terrorists and whosoever seems inclined to act in deviant ways, a transnational way of behavior. Cyberspace is every so often used by militant organizations where they conduct recruitment and all such matters pertaining to the propagation of their narratives. Through several methods inclusive of intelligence collection and management of profiles pertaining to the individuals already involved in extremist or terrorist incidents and those with proclivities, early crime detection and monitoring can be made reliable. AI has started to change each industry astonishingly, consequently, saddling its advantages is significant for countries to improve productivity and gain more benefit.

Terrorism and extremism have seen no bounds metamorphosing their ways to achieve ambitions, progressing with the society, leveraging the ease of the internet fit for their purposes. Terrorist and extremist entities’ verisimilitude is indubitably strong enough to recruit millions thus challenging and countering their underpinnings is a mammoth task. In the case of developing countries like Pakistan, with large populations that are already in the midst of tackling and countering terrorism, having an architecture, policy or methodology that shall use AI to counter extremism and terrorism can be used as a weapon against these inimical entities. When considering the several new promising advancements inclusive of intelligence collection, profiling, machine learning, smart surveillance etc. artificial intelligence is aimed at powering and catalyzing tasks with its efficiency and timeliness. Coupling these methods with the element of predictability in AI can help in diminishing or at the very least lessening the circumstances of these threats and activities by means of monitoring, collection of data and smart surveillance.

The role of Artificial Intelligence in countering violent extremism involves the introduction of several other technologies and methods for prognostication and predictive purposes. This act and method of prediction can help trace down the sources of terrorism and violence along with the identification of brackets and fissures where tendencies can be spotted. A smart method of surveillance can mitigate the excessive interference, encroachment or intrusion of the populace and its data along with the elimination of human partiality in decision making. It is easier than it was in the past decades, to collect data, save it and be able to further analyze it, that too in bulks.

This data can be that of an individual, his connections, alliances, and affiliations which in turn can help evaluate the areas where the individual can function freely and is therefore prone to be a threat in the respected identified areas. Terrorism is, nonetheless, erratic in its strategies and the affectation of the fear they disperse is reliant on the idea that it shall be led by an ambiguous and unfamiliar individual at an arbitrary spot and timing. Notwithstanding this, a compelling policy or approach is guaranteed by precision and forecast.

Through the existing Artificial Intelligence ecosystem i.e. data banks, analysis tools, filtering identifiable individuals and then further on the basis of their characteristics and data additionally creating sub-categories that shall help in machine learning will help to create distinctions and avoiding breach of data of all individuals. The system will keep learning from these information sets and modify itself to draw more accurate and relevant deductions. The algorithms will assist with the identification of individuals, machine learning for analysis of potential individuals, image enhancement, facial recognition, analyzing risk factors, and other such technologies. The algorithms will help the LEAs in places where monitoring is not easy. Smart surveillance can also help in countering terrorism, and it will be different, as it shall, through machine learning, conduct intelligence collection and information of identified instigator profiles so as to keep tabs on only those that need to be surveilled. Nevertheless, there should also be some policies and laws that can penalize platforms and social media sites that fail to regulate or moderate detrimental, instigating content, in an effort to promote self-regulation.

Governments should also focus on deployment of systems particularly having AI capabilities that will assist with coordinating offensive abilities counter to external extremist entities and recruiters. A collaboration of social media platforms and the government should be considered that would couple kinetic and non-kinetic measures so as to effectively support the counterterrorism attempts.

A symbiosis of governmental, Internet, and social media platforms will reap more benefits than when they function in isolation. To counter their efforts and render them void, constabulary forces must incorporate Artificial Intelligence systems so as to halt the further spread and tackle the present nuances. Special investment in counter terrorism efforts and advanced AI technologies will prove to be adamant in a cadenced standstill to extremist endeavors. Countering violent extremism concomitant with artificial intelligence calls for a pensive, calculated, weighed and studious strategy ergo an understanding behind the phenomenon and their separate phases is an obvious necessity. It is pertinent to always analyze the methods antecedent to the use of social media for recruitment and propaganda dissemination in order to better understand their agenda and methods.

The anonymity provided by the internet is an excellent advantage these aberrant entities profit from followed by an innumerable audience to scathe the ideologies and minds of. The very same platforms need to be monitored and chaperoned by AI with methods such as Intelligence collection, content moderation, machine learning to further help with profiling instigators and their sub-sets eluding the common populaces data to carry out smart surveillance. The value and usefulness come more from the rapid response and functionality at dimensions relative to those of a normal human beings’ proficiency. Their patent outrival is due to their prediction, detection, precision, and rapid classification methods. AI might not be the panacea, but it definitely will assist in thwarting or at the very least deterring hostile parties online.

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Areeba Mehmood Khan
About Areeba Mehmood Khan 2 Articles
Areeba Mehmood Khan is a graduate of National Defence University, who has interned at ISPR and taught at a school for under-privileged children as community service.

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