COVID, Artificial Intelligence, and the Global Order

April 2020 No Comments

Speaker: Wright, N. (Intelligent Biology)
Date: 14 April 2020
Speaker Session Summary

SMA hosted a speaker session presented by Dr. Nicholas Wright (Intelligent Biology) as a part of its SMA General Speaker Series.

The novel coronavirus pandemic is upending societies and their assumptions. Going forward, one of its most significant legacies will be the way that the pandemic dovetails with another major global disruption of the last few years—the rise and spread of digital surveillance enabled by artificial intelligence (AI).  Public health measures have always depended on surveillance, and East Asian countries have demonstrated that a robust regime of surveillance is essential to fighting a pandemic.  Now and after covid, Western liberal democracies must develop “democratic surveillance” that harnesses the huge upsides of digital surveillance – without sacrificing democratic values.  In the global competition to shape our AI futures, the stakes are high. If democracies fail to turn the future of global surveillance in their favor, digital authoritarian competitors stand ready to offer their own model to the world.

Speaker Session Audio Recording

Download Dr. Wright’s Biography [SLIDES ARE FORTHCOMING]

Dr. Wright’s relevant Foreign Affairs article can be found at


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