How Can Disruptive Technology Reinstate Peace?

Disruptive technology can be a vehicle in peacebuilding in conflict-hit areas



Disruptive technologies have helped create innovations across several industries. With the rapid adoption of technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics, organizations have efficiently driven intelligent business decisions. Disruptive technology has a potential role to play in peacebuilding. We have always witnessed how conflicts in areas have led to various incitements of fake news, propaganda, etc. There have been several conflict-hit areas, like the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel, other conflicts like in Yemen, Iraq, etc. Can disruptive technology be used in rebuilding peace in such areas? 

While speaking at the PeaceTech Lab’s Annual Summit in 2018, Steven Hardley, former US national security advisor said, “If you’re going to avoid conflict or resolve it … you need to deal with underlying tensions that provide a grievance ground that results in conflict. Today’s technology provides the tools with which to do that.” 

Let us understand how different disruptive technologies can help in peacebuilding in war-stricken areas.


Gathering Real-time Data

Data is an important and valuable possession today, especially in conflict areas, and war-like situations. With disruptive technologies, today it is able to gather real-time data, even without being present in the field. Peacebuilders can leverage these data to understand the situation better and monitor the situation in the conflict-hit areas. Real-time data and analytics can be used for expanding situational awareness in places that have limited access and have an intimidating ecosystem. Through real-time big data, it is easier to reach more people and design new peace schemes according to the right information.


Tracking Down Hate Speeches and fake News

While there are conflicts in different areas, we have witnessed a boom in fake news and misinformation, largely through social media. Increased access to modern technology has enabled these hate speeches and fake news to spread at a much higher speed. Hate speeches have also been said to fuel genocides and communal riots. Disruptive techs like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing have led to the development of automated hate speech detection and fake news filtering.


Drone and Satellite Mapping for Better Visibility

Conflict areas are often very difficult to access. Satellite Mapping and Drone Monitoring can help improve the accessibility and carry out operations for curbing violence. With these tools, it becomes easier to map the conflict-hit locations and identify the frequency of violence and attacks. Satellite mapping can be used for human rights monitoring, support negotiations, and mark better international boundaries.


Predicting Conflicts through Social Media

Predictive analytics has a potential role to play in estimating and forecasting conflicts or attacks through the big data collected. By leveraging this technology it’s easier to issue warnings and start preparing for crisis management or peaceful agreements. Data from social media also plays a part in this method, wherein communal violence or riots can be anticipated according to information, hashtags, rising hate speeches, etc. With intelligent machine learning algorithms and readily available real-time data, it becomes hassle-free to perform predictive analysis.


Technology support in mediation

AI can be an effective tool to fast-track the mediation process as a step towards peacebuilding. Analyzing agreements, previous patterns of mediation processes, and arriving at conclusions might become time-consuming and difficult if done manually. In the current scenario, we have an abundance of disruptive technologies that are smart enough to perform these functions if trained with the right resources. AI can aid in processing large documents and can find correlations or patterns that humans might miss. Sentiment analysis using AI tools can help in understanding the perceptions of people. NLP and AI-driven sentiment analysis can be performed to understand public opinion and analyze the context of conflict better.