International Conference of the German Federal Foreign Office: IFSH organizes break-out session on Emerging Technologies

Dr. Alexander Graef, Dr. Moritz Kütt

Technological progress in information technology and artificial intelligence not only fuels new developments for civilian purposes, it also has implications for military capabilities and international security. This was the topic of this years’ conference “Capturing Technology. Rethinking Arms Control”. The conference was organized by the German Federal Foreign Office, on invitation by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. More than 1000 policymakers, diplomats, academic experts and practitioners from industry and military from all across the world joined the discussion. 

New Technologies: Not only risks, but also new opportunities

As an introduction to the broader theme, four large workshops were conducted prior to the main event. One of these break-out sessions was organized and moderated by IFSH scientists Moritz Kütt and Alexander Graef. In their session, they explored how risks from emerging technologies could be turned into opportunities for arms control and verification. Together with a large group of experts, they discussed several examples:

  • Commercial satellite imagery as a new tool to verify compliance with international agreements
  • Crowd-sourcing as an instrument to overcome limited resources of traditional data analysis for treaty monitoring and verification
  • Open source software as a versatile tool to build mutual trust and transparency


We also prepared a video summarizing the issues of the break-out session.

Additional information on the event, including transcripts of the ministerial speeches, is available from the German Federal Foreign Office on the conference homepage: