Deadline: 15 July 2024

The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs is launching the Sci-fAI Futures Youth Challenge, calling on young people to share their vision of a fictional world in 2145 where countries around the world have integrated artificial intelligence (AI) into their militaries, exploring scenarios of both benefits and risks.

This creative, science-fiction challenge provides a platform to spark the interest and imagination of young people around the world about how AI could be used in or to prevent armed conflicts, its potential interactions with other emerging technologies and positive scenarios in which AI is leveraged for good in the military domain.

In the Our Common Agenda policy brief on Information Integrity on Digital Platforms, the UN Secretary-General recognizes that today’s youth is the “most digitally connected generation in history”. As digital natives, their wealth and depth of expertise can provide novel, creative perspectives around the opportunities and risks of emerging technologies, including AI.

Creative writing and illustration are powerful media for young people to explore possible futures and identify steps towards a desirable one. As the international community discusses pathways to ensure the responsible design, development, and deployment of military AI applications, including through the Responsible AI in the Military Domain (REAIM) initiative, young voices can play a key role in inspiring brighter outcomes, as well as cautioning against adverse ones, through storytelling.

Young people worldwide between the ages of 13 and 29 are invited to submit (i) a written story of up to 2,145 words or (ii) a graphic comic of up to six pages envisioning how they see AI affecting international peace and security in 2145. Participants can submit their responses under one of three themes: (a) Armed Conflict and Conflict Resolution, (b) Human-centred Approaches to Disarmament, or (c) Responsible Innovation. Under these themes, participants could evaluate specific areas, inter alia, meaningful human control of AI in the military domain; the integration of AI into other emerging technologies and potential implications to international peace and security; and potential technical challenges, including unintended bias, explainability and traceability.

Submission to the Sci-fAI Futures Youth Challenge will open on 17 May 2024, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, and be accepted through 15 July 2024, World Youth Skills Day. Selected by a diverse, intergenerational panel of judges, winners will be invited to present their vision at the upcoming REAIM Summit in Seoul and receive a monetary reward and visibility across Office for Disarmament Affairs platforms.

The Sci-fAI Futures Youth Challenge is funded through generous financial support from the Government of the Republic of Korea.


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