In their Research Report, ‘Negative Multiplicity: Forecasting the Future Impact of Emerging Technologies on International Stability and Human Security’, Favaro, Renic, and Kühn asked 30 international experts to forecast the developmental trajectories of twelve emerging technologies in the United States, Russia, and China until 2040 and to score their possible future impact on arms race stability, crisis stability, and humanitarian principles. The results reveal that, on average, the impact of these technologies is expected to be negative, with some negatively affecting all three dependent variables. They then used a machine learning algorithm to cluster the technologies according to their anticipated impact. This process identified technology clusters comprised of diverse high (i.e., negative) impact technologies that share key impact characteristics but do not necessarily share technical characteristics. The expected alignment of the technology development trajectories of the United States, Russia, and China by 2040, in combination with the negative environment created by geopolitical competition, points to a nascent technological arms race that threatens to seriously impede international arms control efforts to regulate emerging technologies.
This study is part of the research and transfer project ‘Arms Control and Emerging Technologies’ at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH).