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Briefing: Emerging technologies and nuclear weapon risks

Technology has transformed armed conflict throughout history. Today, emerging technologies in the fields of offensive cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence and autonomous technologies will have a significant impact on military behaviour. In the nuclear weapons realm, these technologies add another layer of risk to an already unacceptable level of risk of nuclear weapons use. This briefing addresses these risks and explains why it is critical that policy makers and the public understand the pre-existing dangers of nuclear weapons as well as added risks posed by emerging technologies that make their elimination all the most urgent.

Any use of nuclear weapons, either by intent, accident or miscalculation, will cause catastrophic humanitarian consequences. Mitigation measures that only seek to reduce the additional risk that emerging technologies pose to nuclear weapon use is not an adequate response to the intolerable nuclear status quo. Only the stigmatisation, prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons can fully address both new and old nuclear weapons risks and guarantee that nuclear weapons are never used again. 

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ICAN emerging technologies Report Cover