The world’s first electronic computer, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), was completed in 1945, the year the United Nations was created. ENIAC’s applications were military: it was financed by the US Army. Nearly 75 years later, technology has vast reach and destabilising potential: a recent United Nations University report says that the combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and other powerful dual-use technologies places the world at “a time of technological rupture with implications for large-scale crisis prevention”. There are innumerable life-improving applications, but a far-reaching dark side.
The US has the presidency in December. The programme of work focuses largely on regular briefings and mandate renewals and is compressed due to a desire to conclude business by 20 December. Several mandate renewals are anticipated this month on...