Emerging military and security technologies are bringing forth new challenges.
Advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics continue to push the boundaries of autonomy. Practically, this means that the extent of human-decision making and control of weapons systems is being brought into question. Lethal autonomous weapons systems, in particular, have been identified as deeply problematic from a moral, ethical and legal perspective. Autonomous weapons are weapons systems that can select and engage targets with little human intervention. Autonomous weapons systems have been called the “third revolution in warfare after gunpowder and nuclear arms” by leading scientists and tech developers. Without regulation, the risks posed by these weapons will only increase.
Project Ploughshares has joined the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a growing coalition of 142 organizations in 62 countries working to pre-emptively ban weapons systems that, once activated, would select and attack targets without human intervention.
While countries have been discussing this issue since 2014 at the United Nations, the process has been slow and technological advancements are outpacing regulation. This points to the clear need for greater dialogue nationally and internationally.
What are autonomous weapons systems (aka "killer robots")? Why are they problematic? Click on the image below to find out.
Recent Posts on Emerging Technologies
Autonomous collaborative weaponsMarch 9, 2021
The United States is at the forefront of advancements in autonomous swarming technologies. A U.S. government-appointed panel has even said that the country has a “moral imperative” to develop weapons driven by artificial intelligence (AI). While the morality of this imperative can be debated, there can be no doubt that the technological advancements of the world’s most advanced military warrant ...
Clearview AI signals growing data privacy problemFebruary 4, 2021
According to a recent report by Canada’s privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien and three provincial counterparts, Clearview AI has broken Canada’s privacy laws. Therrien told reporters that the company’s technology and actions amounted to an illegal mass surveillance of Canadians. While Clearview AI no longer operates in Canada, its recent activities indicate the challenges that Canada faces in regulating facial recognition ...
Canada’s efforts on responsible AI must include ban on autonomous weaponsJanuary 4, 2021
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.
View All Posts About Emerging Technologies