NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

OPEN Study Days Conference: Utilizing Artificial Intelligence in Middle East and North Africa

November 9, 2023

NAPLES, Italy. Allied Command Transformation, under the Open Perspectives Exchange Network framework, and the NATO Strategic Direction-South Hub, held the “OPEN Study Days Conference” in Naples, Italy, from November 7th – 9th. This year’s theme was “Utilizing Artificial Intelligence (Al) in Middle East and North Africa.”

The conference allowed subject matter experts to exchange views and ideas freely between NATO and non-NATO representatives and organizations, while bringing together military and civilian communities of interest.

The purpose of these “Study Days” is to enhance the understanding of the potential challenges and opportunities, in the medium to long-term future focusing on the use of artificial intelligence in the Middle East and North Africa region. This technology can be a driver of growth across economies and industry, and will hopefully limit conflicts, while increasing collaboration in the future.

The basis of the Open Perspectives Exchange Network Project is to identify the benefits, ways and means associated with exchanging views and ideas on matters relevant to the Alliance. To operationalize this, the Network focuses on a non-classified human network exchange through academic articles on a wide range of topics. NATO aspires to have persistent 360-degree strategic awareness in order to anticipate events that would be pertinent to the Alliance and is always looking for ways to build practical relationships surrounding matters of mutual interest, with non-NATO actors. For these reasons, the Open Perspectives Exchange Network editorial board cooperates with distinguished professors, Subject Matter Experts in their domain, from prominent universities to author quality papers for NATO on different relevant topics.

This Network is a discovery capability that explores the means by which NATO might improve its strategic understanding and ability to anticipate adversarial actions, while improving NATO’s ability to work with non-NATO entities. It seeks alternative perspectives on matters of importance to NATO and others and aims to produce alternative, disruptive and even provocative views that are of interest to the Alliance.

In alignment with these goals, Allied Command Transformation and NATO Strategic Direction South Hub has organized a series of “Study Days” events, the most recent of which addressed the following topics:

  • Africa: Climate Change and Safeguarding Human Security
  • Middle East and North Africa Space Capabilities & Security Challenges
  • Webinar: Emerging and Disruptive Technologies in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Energy Security in the Middle East and North Africa: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Study Day on Impacts of Climate Change on Stability in the Middle East and North Africa

The “OPEN Study Days Conference” provided a vital platform for experts to exchange ideas on the use of artificial intelligence in the Middle East and North Africa. This event aimed to foster a better understanding of the region’s limitations, impacts, challenges and opportunities, while highlighting how artificial intelligence can drive growth and cooperation, and reduce conflicts. The Open Perspectives Exchange Network Project, a key driver behind this initiative, aligns with NATO’s commitment to strategic awareness and building relationships with non-NATO actors. By collaborating with distinguished experts, the Network produces high-quality papers on relevant topics, enriching NATO’s strategic capabilities and fostering innovative thinking.