The Spring workshop was hosted by the Vienna Centre for Disarmament and Non Proliferation and brought together experts in the non-proliferation, artificial intelligence, data management and remote sensing fields to discuss the applicability of new tools and technology to aid non-proliferation work.
A common theme within the first session, Advances in Remote Sensing, was the nexus between analyst and images and how best to represent the large imaging data available to non-proliferation analysts so that it is both accessible and optimally presented. The power of new imaging techniques beyond the optical spectrum and the importance of collaboration between the private industry and non-proliferation bodies were also discussed.
The second session, Collection and Management of Unstructured Data, sought to identify challenges in the collection and management of unstructured data. Perhaps the most daunting and exciting challenge to the field of non-proliferation is how best to harness Artificial Intelligence to improve the workload and capability of analysts. Speakers discuss the exciting applications of AI in the form of machine learning, deep learning, semantic AI that can structure big data, extract highly relevant information, make predictions at expert levels, detect anomalies, perform network analysis and flag new information.
The penultimate session, Applied Analysis of Unstructured Data, discussed how unstructured data can be analysed in a meaningful way and draws upon the themes of the previous section on data management. A commonality was the utility of network graphs as a useful tool to understand links between entities present in databases. The final presentation gave examples of how existing AI, deep learning and semantic AI tools can be used for data extraction and network creation in the non-proliferation field.
In this final session, Multimedia Information and Data Fusion, speakers discuss the use of multimedia information as a powerful tool for non-proliferation and the power of spatially orienting information. A commonality among the talks is the benefit of having a single integrated platform encompassing disparate types of data. Multimedia information and data fusion platforms must also be easily accessed and disseminated to enable collaboration and a deeper understanding of complex data sets.
VCDNP Director, Laura Rockwood, concluded the afternoon by stating the first question for new technology should always be is it helpful and effective. Ms Rockwood went on to stress the that the real test is whether these technologies are politically acceptable, especially in the field and that safeguard work is nothing but its member states, whose consultation will always be a vital part of strengthening safeguards.