Where does the world stand on killer robots? The view from recent UN meetings on autonomous weapons

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

From March 25 to 29, the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons met at the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in Geneva, Switzerland.

Canada’s future role in UN peace operations

Branka Marijan Africa, Armed Conflicts, Conventional Weapons, Defence & Human Security, Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

It has been almost three decades since Canada was among the leading contributors of troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions. In late 2017, the government announced Canada’s return to peace operations and, in March 2018, Canada deployed an Air Task Force to the UN mission in Mali. With the one-year period allotted for the Canadian mission coming to an end …

The new disarmament advocates?

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, News

Over the past year, tech-worker movements have illustrated the rising awareness of this group of their role—for good and ill—in technology’s impact on society. Just look at the employees’ protest against Google’s involvement in the U.S. Pentagon’s Project Maven. Project Maven, also known as Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team, launched in April 2017 to improve the ability of the U.S. Department …

Bill C-47: Remarks to the Senate Standing Committee

Cesar Jaramillo Conventional Weapons, Featured Leave a Comment

U.S. reporting and licensing exemptions not consistent with ATT obligations Remarks to the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development – Delivered November 29, 2018 Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 39 Issue 4 Winter 2018 by Cesar Jaramillo Thank you very much for the kind invitation to address this committee. For decades, efforts to better regulate illicit and …

The AI arms race: The Cold War mindset returns

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Featured Leave a Comment

Concerns about an artificial-intelligence (AI) arms race between advanced militaries have been raised by many experts and analysts, including SpaceX founder Elon Musk and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. Scientists and engineers are also becoming increasingly vocal in discussions on the weaponization of AI, urging governments to develop regulations to prohibit certain applications of AI in weapons technology. But they …

We are ready for 2019

Cesar Jaramillo Conventional Weapons, Defence & Human Security, Featured, Forced Displacement and Migration, Nuclear Weapons, Space Security Leave a Comment

As 2018 ends, you may feel disheartened by the state of global security. Multiple, overlapping crises—some brewing, others already manifest—seem to outpace the international community’s capacity to respond effectively. Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 39 Issue 4 Winter 2018 by Cesar Jaramillo The world is in the midst of the worst refugee crisis in history. According to figures from the UN …

The ‘Black Mirror’ spectre and autonomous weapons

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Featured, News

Thinking about the future of warfare through science fiction Laughter doesn’t often fill the meeting room at the United Nations. When it does, it’s a refreshing reminder that country delegates are ordinary citizens, just like the rest of us. While they have been given a great privilege and responsibility to represent their nations’ interests and serve the planet, they also …

Should you worry about Killer Robots?

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Featured, News

Last week, the Group of Governmental Experts met at the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva, Switzerland. Many countries, including Canada, provided statements on autonomous weapons, advancing discussions that started 4 years ago. Project Ploughshares was one of the several civil society organizations observing the meetings. In a surprising turn of events, China stated that it …

Unintended consequences and malicious uses of AI

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Featured, News

News stories on artificial intelligence (AI) herald advancements in medicine, applaud the ability of programs to defeat human players in complex games, and anticipate the ability to read our minds. While it is important to highlight these positive contributions, we must stay alert to the full range of effects of AI on our society and the world—the unintended as well …