Artificial Intelligence for Peace: An Early Warning System for Mass Violence

Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


This chapter explores novel research conducted by scholars in artificial intelligence (AI) , peace studies, and political science who are collaborating to build sophisticated AI systems to help identify emergent real-time trends on social media which may be contemporaneous with eruptions of extreme violence or mass atrocities. Of key interest in our research is the phenomenon of memes, that may be deployed by nefarious actors with the intention of sparking eruptions of violence amidst pre-existing hostilities. This new research collaboration is also developing novel abilities in semantic forensics—the ability to parse complicated and layered meanings—within a constellation of traditional and social media sets. This chapter summarizes the current state of our research, including: (a) the technological challenges faced in the development of robust semantic analysis systems; (b) novel technologies for identifying deepfake media items; and (c) the complex ethical questions surrounding who should be granted access to this technology.


Memes Disinformation Political violence Artificial intelligence 



This article is based on research sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) under agreement number [FA8750-16-2-0173] for the Media Forensics (MediFor) program. Support was also given by USAID under agreement number [7200AA18CA00054].


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of Notre DameSouth BendUSA
  2. 2.Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Notre DameSouth BendUSA

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