Conference: Open-Source Information in the Field of Migration
The conference "Security Challenges and Opportunities in the Use of Open-Source Information and Emerging Technologies in the Field of Migration" took place at the National Defence Academy of the Federal Ministry of Defence in Vienna. This event focused on how to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities posed by the exploitation of open sources and emerging technologies in addressing contemporary security challenges in an interactive format.
The Challenge: Open-Source Information, Human Rights and Migration Research
More and more security practitioners and policy-makers are looking towards the use of new data sources, such as social media for the analysis of migration-related aspects, as a way to complement and fill in some of the gaps in traditional data sources and methods. The increased availability of digital content can become very tempting especially due to the timeliness, the frequency at which information can be updated, the wide coverage and the level of details it can provide. Furthermore, technological evolutions in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence are opening a wide range of possibilities in the field of intelligence analysis, especially concerning situation monitoring, fact-checking and pattern detection.
But do we truly understand the full implications of such evolutions, especially concerning their impact on human rights? Are practitioners ready to engage with these new tools? What are the technical, organizational and cultural implications of the introduction and use of such technologies?
The aim of the event was to discuss these questions with stakeholders from various backgrounds including law enforcement, policy-makers and representatives of international organizations working in the field of migration. How can law, technology and research come together in building a safer future?
The conference, which was organized jointly with the National Defence Academy as part of the EU-funded MIRROR project, aimed to answer these questions in promoting an interactive discourse.
Indeed, a successful knowledge exchange between experts from different fields of national defence, research and migration as well as a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities posed by new methods of information analysis, technology and human rights was achieved.
The Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence is a project partner of MIRROR (abbreviation for "Migration-Related Risks Caused by Misconceptions of Opportunities and Requirement"), which is funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 program. The project focuses on how Europe is perceived as a destination for migration.