Between Scylla and Charybdis: The Threat of Democratized Artificial Intelligence

Ori Swed, Kerry Chávez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


As artificial intelligence (AI) advances, speculations on its implications run parallel, sometimes rampant. On one side, alarmists foresee a technological singularity as AI outstrips human intelligence. On the other, scholars and analysts tend to trail behind the staggering speed of development. Called cultural lag, the deliberate pace of theoretical reflection is out of sync. Steering between the Scylla of doomsday scripts and the Charybdis of cultural lag, we identify and discuss the threat of violent nonstate actors exploiting advanced and democratized AI technologies to commit attacks. We analyze three confirming case studies followed by three potential threats becoming available as AI evolves: self-driving cars, Internet bots, and 3D printing. Our chapter contributes a shrewd approach to threat analysis in the dynamic world of AI development.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Political Economy Series
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameInternational Political Economy Series
ISSN (Print)2662-2483
ISSN (Electronic)2662-2491


  • Artificial intelligence
  • International security
  • Terrorism
  • Threat analysis


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