Updated Jul 26, 2023, 1:48pm EDT

How Ukraine is changing war tech

Ukraine drone
REUTERS/Alina Smutko

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The News

Ukraine’s tech sector is booming 1.5 years into its war against Russia.

The war conditions have proven to be a valuable testing site for domestic and foreign technology.

We’ve curated reporting and analysis on how war has bolstered technological developments and what that means for post-war Ukraine.

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  • Tech exports are the backbone of Ukraine’s war-torn economy. The IT sector saw a 5% year-on-year growth in 2022, outperforming all expectations. Ukrainian software developed before the war and now being tested, such as the the so-called “Uber for artillery” that optimizes attacks based on conditions like target type and range, are being eyed by Western allies like the Pentagon. Ukraine has also proven savvy at digital warfare against Russia. Experts believe the country will re-emerge as a tech hub and industry leader following the war. — Atlantic Council
  • War-torn geography is crucial for training AI, and tech companies are flocking to Ukraine to develop software where “data is the new oil.” Drone makers are using the battlefield to teach software things like how to identify enemy tanks from civilian tractors. Rescue operations performed inside destroyed buildings by drones could one day be used by police in the U.S. to assist in active shooter situations. — Wired
  • But officials warn that rapid AI development will undeniably re-shape warfare for the worse, with Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister lamenting that AI technology is a ”threat to the future." AI removes yet one more layer between human decisions and ordering a killing, and the technology is expected to eventually become so cheap and accessible that non-state actors like Islamic extremists and Mexico-based cartels will be able to use it if they acquire more drones. — The Washington Post