Digital Competence for Defense (DigiComp)

Led by Gregory M. Reichberg

Nov 2021 – Oct 2022

Norwegian defense forces. Photo: Forsvaret / Anette Ask
​The ethical aspects of artificial intelligence and related digital technologies have become ever more urgent to address.

The ethical aspects of artificial intelligence and related digital technologies have become ever more urgent to address. The increasing use of these technologies by military organizations greatly raises the stakes. Life and death decisions will be made well or badly, depending on how those who develop and operate these digital systems understand their moral and legal responsibilities.

Ethical Aspects of Digital Competence in the Norwegian Defense Sector ****(Digital Competence for Defense) aims to map how digital competence supports Norwegian military readiness. The project will examine what norms (moral and legal) are emerging in this domain, and how a consensus regarding best practices for the procurement, development, and use of digital technologies is developing internationally.

Inter alia, the project team will address the following questions:

  • What digital skills can best equip military professionals to face emerging battlefield challenges?
  • Which digital skills are currently lacking within the Norwegian defense sector?
  • Is ethics sufficiently integrated within the digital training of Norwegian military personnel?
  • What will be the expected impacts (positive and negative) of digital technologies on decision-making structures within the Norwegian chain of command?

To provide context and points of comparison, the project will survey digital competency initiatives underway internationally, for instance in the US armed forces, NATO, and the European Defense Agency. To determine what best practices should be followed in the procurement and use of digital technologies, the project team will examine gaps in current legal frameworks, and consider how technological developments can be shaped by the articulation of new norms.

The project is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Defense and involves a collaboration between PRIO, the Department of Information Security and Communication Technology at NTNU, and the Norwegian Council for Digital Ethics (NORDE).

Project leader: Research Professor Gregory M. Reichberg

Project members at PRIO: Research Professor Henrik Syse, Doctoral Researcher Sigurd Hovd; Interns Sophie Mae Berman, and Sunniva Warrington.

External project members: Professors May Thorseth and Stephen Wolthusen (NTNU), Associate Professor Leonora Bergsjø (NORDE), Legal consultant Christian Bendiksen (NORDE), and Consultant Patricia López-Vicente.

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