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The AI revolution is remaking the Middle East

Will AI be used for the stability of the region or its destruction? Can Israel use it to forge peace with its neighbors? "Our Middle East: An Insider's Views" with Dan Diker and guest Harry Rubin

On this episode of “Our Middle East,” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs President Dan Diker hosts Harry Rubin, an American expert in technology transfer and artificial intelligence, to discuss how it will transform the region.

Rubin, who studied at Harvard University and Columbia Law School, is a senior partner specializing in technology and international law at the law firm of Kramer Levin and is also an expert on German-Israeli relations. 

Transformative technology

Rubin emphasized the power of AI, which he likened to the industrial revolution or the dawn of the nuclear age. As a transformative technology, AI can generate output including video materials, at incredible speed, but its products are difficult to source or test for accuracy, a fact Rubin says can make it a blessing or a threat to global and regional stability.

The effect of AI on warfare

According to Rubin, AI is “the great equalizer.”

“You don’t need to have nuclear bombs and you don’t need to have an air force. You need to have some very sophisticated technology/computer people with high-powered computers. That is something any government can do,” he said.

The ability of AI to create realistic fake videos means that it can be used to destabilize nations from both without and within, said Diker—in Israel’s case, from faraway Tehran or nearby Gaza. On the other hand, he said, AI can cut troop deployment and wars can be conducted through “AI on a screen from what they call a Hamal, or war room, especially when you combine this with drones and robotics and unmanned aircraft and all the rest, which you’re already seeing in the Ukrainian situation.”

Israel and AI 

Can Israel use AI responsibly, humanely and sensitively in order to further deepen its membership in the Middle East?

According to Rubin, “It can, and it should. And I think it should do it proactively and very creatively and aggressively. … I mean, every industry that is out there, that is meaningful, that is salient to the Middle Eastern countries will benefit enormously from efficiencies and strategies that employ AI. So I would hope and expect that Israeli AI companies are actively pursuing these efforts. And I would think that the neighbors in the Middle East are very interested in partaking in this effort.”

 Our Middle East: An Insider’s View” airs live on JNS TV Youtube Channel, Facebook and Twitter at 1:30 PM EST/8:30 PM IST. You can also listen to the audio version here. A Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs podcast produced by JNS.

You can catch the audio version on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Dan Diker is the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a foreign policy expert and the former Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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