Scenario 2: Manipulation of Aerial Drones at a Major Event

In hard-to-reach, dangerous or complex environments, AI systems can take over routine tasks. They explore areas, monitor infrastructures or support the communication of specialists. To enable these AI systems to act as independently as possible - for example, when investigating or repairing infrastructures - they are equipped with special capabilities; they act (semi-)autonomously. They are used both as individual systems and in interaction with each other, for example as flying drones in a swarm.

Aerial drones can be used in the future to ensure safety at major events. The integrated sensors capture important information and forward it. However, since the airspace hardly has any efficient defense systems or mechanical protection devices, flying drones can also be misused for targeted attacks on people, critical areas or objects. Our scenario outlines the World Cup finals in a major city. The organizers have the stadium monitored from the air with the help of a swarm of AI-based drones. These communicate with each other and cooperate when necessary.

Click on the graphic to see how malicious attackers can be prevented from manipulating the drones and causing damage.

The question of which measures are suitable for effectively preventing misuse of AI systems is also addressed in the white paper Protecting AI systems, preventing misuse by the IT Security, Privacy, Law and Ethics working group.