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Digitalisation and artificial intelligence in defence

Digitalisation, artificial intelligence and rapid technological development are changing society widely and profoundly. These trends are transforming the defence sector, too, and creating both opportunities and threats. New technologies challenge defence administrations across the world to reform their operations to meet the demands of the modern age.

Europe must keep up with technological progress and tap into the emerging opportunities to improve military capabilities. At the same time, we must consider cyber threats and other vulnerabilities associated with new technologies. The EU member states also need to address ethical and legal questions related to digitalisation and AI.

EU needs new skills and cooperation opportunities

During its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Finland wants to encourage EU member states to discuss the effects of AI developments and digitalisation on the defence sector. The aim is to identify existing EU tools for developing national and European skills and technologies. It is also important to find more ways to cooperate within the EU and with partners such as NATO and the United States.

Together with partner countries Estonia, France, Germany and the Netherlands, Finland has drawn up a reflection paper on digitalisation and artificial intelligence in the defence sector.

Digitalisation and AI on other forums

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini has invited the Global Tech Panel to discuss innovative solutions and AI challenges also from the defence perspective.

The European Defence Agency (EDA) already has artificial intelligence high on its research and technology agenda. Research and development projects can receive funding from the European Defence Fund, among other sources. Other central operators include the European Union Military Committee and the European Union Military Staff.

Digitalisation and artificial intelligence in meetings held during Finland’s Presidency:

EU2019FI backgrounder: EU’s new defence and security initiatives 

European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS): “AI – What implications for EU Security and Defence”


Elina Saarimaa, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Defence, tel. +358 295 140 352, elina.saarimaa(at)
Janne Jortama, Lieutenant Colonel, Defence Command, tel. +358 299 510 576, janne.jortama(at)