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October/November 2023

Contents

Cover story

Features

Regulars

16 Artificial Intelligence

As Britain hosts its global AI Safety Summit, it is vital that governments go beyond regulation and take control of an unprecedented technological revolution Alex Krasodomski Quantum technology rivals must learn to cooperate Marion Messmer, James Shires, Armida van Rij Curbing the power of military AI companies Yasmin Afina AI-generated videos, rumour bombs and fake news threaten democracy in key election year Helen Fitzwilliam Can Britain write the AI rulebook? Olivia O’Sullivan Decolonizing the databases Mahlet Zimeta

8 The Big Picture The devastating floods in Libya 10 Climate change It is still possible to keep the rise in global temperatures to 1.5C but the task is getting harder Henry Throp and Laurie Laybourn Climate risk cascades don’t recognize borders Ruth Townend 14 Argentina Javier Milei, the wildest of wild cards, is leading the race for president Pablo Touzon 30 Interview David Shrier, a world expert on technological change, discusses the impact of AI and ‘flash growth’ with Roxanne Escobales 32 Sudan Satellite images show fierce fighting in the forgotten battle for Khartoum John Pollock and Damien Symon 36 India World Cup cricket puts the spotlight on Modi’s

India, for better or for worse Salil Tripathi 37 Demagogues An extract from the graphic non-fiction satire Dictatorship: It’s Easier Than You Think!

4 Contributors 5 The world in brief 7 Beijing briefing China’s brain gainYu Jie 42 Postcard Rain rituals and carbon sinks as climate changes hit Tibet Patrick Schröder 44 Date with history The day Opec turned the oil tap off

Randall Hansen 46 Review How America pulls the strings through its dominance of global trade networks Neil Shearing Debunking the migration myths Jacqueline Broadhead How Allende’s Chile turned to computer technology to keep the country functioning Evgeny Morozov 50 Eagle View A new columnist puts America’s foreign policy into focus Daniel Drezner Cover by Andrea Ucini

The World Today is also at www.theworldtoday.org

From the Editor Every day a new headline. Every week a new warning. The rapid development and adoption of AI has provoked alarming warnings from all quarters, even from its creators.

We have pulled together thinking from across Chatham House to explore how we can leverage technology’s potential to both disrupt society and help address some of humanity’s biggest challenges.

Alex Krasodomski lays out his case for why the scale, applications and pace of AI development show that governments must invest in technological capacity for the good of democracies around the world. In hosting the AI Safety Summit, Britain is well placed to be an influential force, argues Olivia O’Sullivan.

Yasmin Afina urges more oversight and control of private sector involvement in military AI. Mahlet Zimeta writes that the movement to decolonize AI seeks to address historic imbalances of power built into the code running the technology. With key elections around the world scheduled for next year, AI has the power to upset the democratic process, reports Helen Fitzwilliam. And are we facing a quantum ‘arms race’, ask Marion Messmer, James Shires and Armida van Rij. Worry over the risks from AI may be fruitless if we can’t tackle the world’s biggest threat: global warming. With COP28 kicking off in November, Henry Throp and Laurie Laybourn consider the debate around the 1.5C target − should it stay, or should it go?

Ruth Townend warns of cross-border cascading risks from climate impacts. Patrick Schröder travels to Tibet and meets monks literally praying for rain. Finally, Daniel Drezner, lays out his stall as he introduces his new column looking at the world through American eyes. Roxanne Escobales rescobales@chathamhouse.org Twitter: @roxy_esco the world today | october & november 2023 | 3

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