Peace and Conflict Resolution: Artificial Intelligence (AI) Seems More Intelligent Than Human Political Intelligence (PI)
EDITORIAL, 20 Mar 2023
#788 | Jan Oberg, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service
A few days ago, I got the idea of checking what the AI-based ChatGPT had to say about issues pertaining to the war in Ukraine. I must say that its answers were a pleasant surprise from the perspective that I hold dear – peace.
Here is what I asked and what it answered – within a couple of seconds:
How to make peace in Ukraine?
The conflict in Ukraine is complex and multifaceted, and there are no simple solutions. However, here are some steps that could potentially contribute to peace in Ukraine:
- Dialogue: The first step towards peace in Ukraine is for all parties to engage in dialogue. This includes the Ukrainian government, the separatists in Eastern Ukraine, and Russia. All sides must be willing to sit down and negotiate in good faith.
- Ceasefire: A sustainable ceasefire is necessary to create an environment conducive to dialogue. All parties must agree to a cessation of hostilities and respect the ceasefire agreement.
- Humanitarian aid: The conflict has resulted in the displacement of many people, and there is a need for humanitarian aid to help those affected by the conflict.
- Addressing underlying issues: The conflict in Ukraine is rooted in political, economic, and social issues that need to be addressed. This includes issues related to language rights, economic disparities, and regional autonomy.
- International mediation: International mediation can play an important role in helping to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. The OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) has been involved in monitoring the ceasefire and facilitating dialogue between the parties.
- Respect for international law: All parties must respect international law, including the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
It’s important to note that there are many challenges to achieving peace in Ukraine, including deep-seated mistrust between the parties and conflicting interests. However, taking steps towards dialogue, ceasefire, addressing underlying issues, international mediation, and respect for international law can help move towards peace.
Advantages and disadvantages of sending weapons to Ukraine?
Advantages of sending weapons to Ukraine:
- Increased military capabilities: Sending weapons to Ukraine would increase its military capabilities, allowing it to better defend itself against separatists in the east of the country and potential aggression from Russia.
- Deterrence: The presence of more powerful weapons in Ukraine could deter Russia from taking further aggressive actions.
- Strengthened alliances: Sending weapons to Ukraine could strengthen its alliances with countries that support it, such as the United States and other NATO members.
Disadvantages of sending weapons to Ukraine:
- Escalation of conflict: Sending weapons to Ukraine could escalate the conflict, leading to increased violence and casualties on both sides.
- Russian response: Sending weapons to Ukraine could provoke a response from Russia, potentially leading to a larger conflict and further destabilization of the region.
- Arms race: Sending weapons to Ukraine could contribute to an arms race in the region, with Russia potentially responding by increasing its own military capabilities.
- Divisiveness among allies: Sending weapons to Ukraine could be seen as divisive among allies, with some countries opposing such action and potentially damaging diplomatic relationships.
Overall, the decision to send weapons to Ukraine is a complex and controversial one, with potential advantages and disadvantages that must be carefully weighed. It’s important to consider the potential consequences of such action and to work towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ukraine.
Was NATO’s expansion a good idea?
The question of whether NATO expansion is a good idea is a complex and controversial one, and there are different perspectives on this issue. Here are some arguments for and against NATO expansion:
Arguments For NATO expansion:
- Security: NATO expansion provides additional security guarantees to countries that join the alliance, particularly those that are located near Russia. This can help deter aggression from Russia and provide a sense of security to smaller countries.
- Stability: NATO expansion can contribute to stability in Europe by strengthening democratic institutions and promoting economic development. This can help prevent conflicts and ensure long-term stability in the region.
- Promoting shared values: NATO expansion promotes shared democratic values, including the rule of law, human rights, and individual freedoms. This can help strengthen ties between countries and promote greater cooperation.
Arguments Against NATO expansion:
- Provocation: NATO expansion can be seen as provocative by Russia, which may view it as a threat to its security. This can increase tensions and potentially lead to conflict.
- Cost: NATO expansion can be expensive, particularly for smaller countries that join the alliance. This can divert resources from other important areas, such as social services and infrastructure.
- Sovereignty: NATO expansion can be seen as a violation of national sovereignty, particularly if it involves countries that have historically been within Russia’s sphere of influence. This can be seen as an affront to Russia and may contribute to further tensions.
Overall, the question of whether NATO expansion is a good idea depends on a number of factors, including geopolitical considerations, economic factors, and strategic goals. While there are arguments for and against NATO expansion, ultimately the decision to expand the alliance must be based on a careful analysis of these factors and a consideration of the potential consequences of such action.”
Did Gorbachev get assurances that NATO would not expand eastward?
Yes, there is evidence to suggest that former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev received assurances from Western leaders that NATO would not expand eastward.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, as the Soviet Union began to collapse, Gorbachev sought to reduce tensions with the West and promote greater cooperation between the two sides. One of his key concerns was the future of NATO, which he viewed as a potential threat to Soviet security. In negotiations with Western leaders, Gorbachev reportedly sought assurances that NATO would not expand its membership or military presence in Eastern Europe.
According to some accounts, Western leaders did provide Gorbachev with assurances that NATO would not expand eastward. For example, former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker has said that he promised Gorbachev in 1990 that NATO would not extend “one inch” to the east if the Soviets agreed to the reunification of Germany. Similarly, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl has stated that he assured Gorbachev that NATO would not expand eastward if the Soviets agreed to the reunification of Germany.
However, there is some debate over the extent and nature of these assurances. Some Western officials have argued that they only promised not to station NATO troops permanently in East Germany, and that they did not make any commitments regarding the future expansion of NATO. In any case, NATO did eventually expand eastward, with several former Warsaw Pact countries joining the alliance in the 1990s and 2000s. This has been a source of tension between Russia and the West in recent years.
What is the relationship between conflicts and violence?
Conflicts and violence are closely related, as conflicts often escalate into violent confrontations. Conflict refers to a state of disagreement or opposition between two or more parties, whereas violence refers to the use of physical force to cause harm or damage.
When conflicts are not resolved through peaceful means, they can lead to violent actions by one or both sides. Violence can range from verbal abuse to physical assault, and in extreme cases, it can result in war and genocide.
However, it’s important to note that not all conflicts lead to violence. Conflict resolution techniques such as negotiation, mediation, and diplomacy can help parties to reach a peaceful resolution without resorting to violence.
In summary, conflicts can escalate into violence, but it’s not inevitable. Effective conflict resolution strategies can help prevent or deescalate violent confrontations.
All these answers seem to me rather amazing and indeed “intelligent.” They reveal more knowledge and broad approaches/understanding of complex issues than any Western decision-maker I have come across recently.
What we see is that:
- AI “thinking” of peace does not include more armament.
- AI’s approach to peace is much more aligned with genuine, research-based concepts of peace and, importantly, implies a reduction of violence; it is intellectually vastly superior to that of the present Western leaders.
- AI is able to handle – take into account – a series of aspects and dimensions, something I would not say that the present managers – on all sides – of the Ukraine war have shown any similar ability to do.
- AI seems able to look at issues from more than one side.
- AI reveals a relevant and knowledge-based understanding of the relations between manifest violence and underlying conflicts. Professionally, it defines both concepts quite well. In comparison, the media, the politicians and many experts – military, in particular – appear obsessed with the violence – the weapons, what happens at the battlefield and who is to blame – rather than asking the relevant questions: Why did violence occur, what are the issues standing between the parties that they could not handle non-violently and what can be done to solve those incompatibilities, those conflicts?
They are simply not conflict-intelligent compared with AI – and, in addition, would not focus on the underlying conflicts because there they would have to ask whether NATO’s expansion was a good idea.
- AI is honest. Its answer to the question about the promises given to Gorbachev flatly contradicts the present Western propaganda that Gorbachev was never given such promises. For your information, the homepages of both the EU and NATO denies that he got any such promises and NATO also states that that is an argument aligned with Russian disinformation.
In conclusion, it seems – and yes, it is a mind-boggling thought – that it would be better for the world if AI were used as an inspirational tool in conflict resolution and peace-making policies than if we continue to rely completely on the HI-Human Intelligence, which presently dominates in prime ministers’ offices, defence, foreign ministries and parliaments.
Prof. Jan Oberg, Ph.D. is director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, TFF and a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. CV: https://transnational.live/jan-oberg
Tags: Artificial Intelligence AI, Balkans, ChatGPT, Conflict Analysis, Conflict Transformation, Coup, Eastern Europe, NATO, Russia, USA, Ukraine, Warfare
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 20 Mar 2023.
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6 Responses to “Peace and Conflict Resolution: Artificial Intelligence (AI) Seems More Intelligent Than Human Political Intelligence (PI)”
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Very interesting angle, thank you
Pål from Norway
“For your information, the homepages of both the EU and NATO denies that he got any such promises and NATO also states that that is an argument aligned with Russian disinformation.”
These are then flat-out lies, because we KNOW such promises were made, because it is documented. I know first-hand that such lies have been uttered by Stoltenberg too, both now and in the past, as well as other Norwegian politicians. They just follow the pack of course, and there is no shortage of other Western politicians that are telling lies about this, on both sides of the Atlantic.
This is very thorough, and well worth reading:
As for the AI, it just looks at facts and doesn’t have morals or opinions about anything. Not yet. In this that’s a good thing, but I’m sure the human managers will corrupt that part quickly enough, when it suits “our” interests. Does show the sad state of affairs in too many Western newsrooms though, where basic facts isn’t part of the story, because they are uncomfortable truths.
Thank you Jan,
On the AI / Chatgpt issue, the answers are smart indeed, but they are not owerwhelmig: very good at being factual, no so good at being tactical: said otherwise, however good – or well oriented the analys is, someone, human intelligence (!) and someone with clout on the issue (!! forebearance) is still going to have to do the peace grounding job. Hopefully soon.
On the NATO promises, there is a whole lot of demise – on both sides. And it is the lawyer who should or could tell. I do: Never, and I repeat, never was there any (peace) treaty signed on the issue, at least publicly (and a secret deal is highly unlikely for many reasons). So it goes: promises are what people make of them, not what they say.
On a more geopacific local and short term perspective, there was indeed a lot of talk on the shift of militarisation of East Germany, and there promises were held, but the facts were somewhat quicker and stronger than the talk: A) Russians had to go out, fast. B) Unification had to be whole (a demilitarisation of East Germany or any Eastern European country – could’ve been a real good idea … somehow and if well done – was not or so little on the agenda).
So where do we stand? Same old grounds: keep, keeping at making the culture of peace stronger than the culture of war. Everyones job !
Many thanks for all the comments above, they are much appreciated. Obviously, we all have to discuss what AI will come to mean for each and all of us – for good and for bad – in the future.
I am not sure what the point really is that you, Christophe Barbey, try to make. Neither I nor anybody else has maintained that a treaty was written and signed. The promises given to Gorbachev were not something one could interpret as one likes. Promises are not just what somebody – later lying – make of them. These promises made Gorbachev accept that East Germany could be unified with NATO West Germany.
You seem to need the concrete quotation and sources. There are many. One is the National Security Archive at George Washington University which in its article about it states that there are “cascades” of evidence of such promises. Here is one of more articles:
Another extremely detailed and well-researched analysis is Marie E. Sarotte’s already classic book, Not One Inch – some 500 pages.
Perhaps what you mean to say is that such promises are of no value unless embedded in a treaty signed by all parties. If so, I do not agree.
I have documented all this and much much more here:
Thanks, Jan. I’m reading the article you linked now, which will take a while, so you probably touch upon it. Even this is many years ago now, but when NATO adopted its “out of area” policy, all pretense was dropped, and it was by definition an offensive organisation that sought to wage war across the world, starting with Afghanistan. NATO policy documents have become even more aggressive since, as you well know, and they’ve set their sights on China, after the usual US pressure.
It always was this of course, but it is a US-led and -controlled organisation that seeks to carry out US imperial policy while putting more of the costs on its European “partners”. Straight out of the UK/etc book of colonialism. We control it, but you bear the costs and consequences. The consequences are mostly suffered by the victims of NATO+US wars of course, but in economic terms, the US wants Europe to pay for more of its own wars. That is what all the mantra of 2% of GDP to military expenditures is about.
Dear Jan! I made the same experience as you. I was thrilled by the short and well structured answer. Last week I asked:
What can we do to stop escalating war in Ukraine?
The situation in Ukraine is complex and multi-faceted, and there is no simple solution to stopping the escalating conflict. However, here are some steps that could be taken:
Diplomacy: The first step to stopping the escalating war in Ukraine is through diplomatic efforts. All parties involved in the conflict should come to the negotiation table to discuss a peaceful resolution.
Ceasefire: A ceasefire agreement can be reached between the warring parties, to end the violence and allow for negotiations. A ceasefire can also provide humanitarian aid to those affected by the conflict.
International intervention: International organizations, such as the United Nations, can intervene in the conflict to help find a peaceful solution.
Economic sanctions: Economic sanctions can be imposed on countries or individuals who are supporting or funding the conflict. These sanctions can put pressure on the parties involved to come to the negotiating table.
Media attention: International media attention can help bring awareness to the situation in Ukraine, putting pressure on the parties involved to work towards a peaceful resolution.
Humanitarian aid: Those affected by the conflict, such as civilians, can receive humanitarian aid to ensure their basic needs are met.
Education: Education can play an important role in promoting peace and understanding. Educating people about the consequences of war and the importance of peaceful resolution can help prevent future conflicts.
It’s important to note that these steps require cooperation and willingness from all parties involved, and may take time and patience to implement.