Canada’s efforts on responsible AI must include ban on autonomous weapons

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

During a week of virtual sessions hosted in September at the Geneva offices of the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, Canada remained silent. Not once in the last year has Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs focused on autonomous weapons when explaining Canada’s foreign policy priorities.

Rethinking arms control: A Canadian perspective

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

With a global pandemic and a still undecided U.S. election forming a dramatic backdrop, on November 6, the German Foreign Office hosted a virtual conference, “Capturing Technology. Rethinking Arms Control.” This event, combined with an experts’ preparatory workshop on November 5, were used to shine a light on the transformational capabilities of new technologies on both “old” issues of arms control, such as nuclear weapons, and new ones, including autonomous weapons and drone swarms.

A milestone for military AI?

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

On August 19, a human F-16 fighter pilot engaged with an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm in a virtual simulation of a dogfight. The human pilot lost all five rounds. So was this a historical moment for military use of AI? AI wins again For some observers, and for the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that organized the …

Beirut blast: Insights into using open-source data for humanitarian purposes

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

Images and videos of the explosion that rocked the port and destroyed much of Beirut, Lebanon on August 4 spread quickly on social media. In real time, viewers could see the extent of the devastation and witness the many lives ruined or tragically altered. Following almost immediately was an onslaught of speculation, as people searched for the cause of the …

New export regime needed for drones

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

The United States has relaxed its drone export policy, bringing into question the relevance of the existing arrangement guiding exports of drones, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Countries that were not allowed to purchase some U.S. drones under the previous understanding of MTCR guidelines now face fewer restrictions. While the United States is not likely to export lethal drones …

Burn-In: What our future with tech could look like

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured

Why a blog about a recently released novel? Because, as many readers know, fiction is often a compelling way to capture our concerns about the future—and the present.  In techno-thriller Burn-In, A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution, authors P.W. Singer and August Cole examine the many roles that technology can assume in 21st–century national and global security and in …

The ubiquity of military-grade drone tech

Branka Marijan Featured, News

News channels and social media posts on recent protests across the United States have been filled with images and information about the militarized responses by law enforcement agencies. Images of police officers with military-grade weapons and tactics usually seen only in war zones have been striking to observers in and outside of the US. Still, the flying of the Predator …

Tech for the good of humanity

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

This pandemic has in fact brought into sharper focus the choices that are made about where resources are allocated, which technologies are developed, and for what purposes. These types of choices are and will be particularly important when it comes to applications of AI for national and global security.

Human rights must be safeguarded while fighting coronavirus

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured

As global anxiety grows about the profound impact of the COVID-19 crisis, it may seem that no stone should be left unturned to resolve it. But governments’ use of technology presents clear risks of misuse and abuse. As the crisis unfolds, the methods used by states to tackle it will demand careful public scrutiny, rooted on legitimate expectations of enhanced transparency.