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Death by Algorithm

March 26, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


By late 2020, the United Nations discussions on autonomous weapons, or killer robots, stalled. Some countries were against continuing discussions in the hybrid virtual/in-person format dictated by the ongoing pandemic. There is some indication that efforts to resume CCW talks are ongoing, but so far little information has been made public. While these talks have stalled, the push for greater autonomy and use of AI in weapons has continued. Loitering and collaborative munitions, autonomous tanks, and uncrewed vehicles developments indicate incorporation of more AI tech in weapons systems.

Key issues of concern:

  • Reliability and brittleness of technology
  • Conflict escalation, ‘flash wars’
  • Diminishing human control
  • Accountability for actions carried out by AI systems



Lode Dewaegheneire, Military Advisor to Mines Action Canada (MAC)

Laura Nolan, Software Engineer and SRE, ICRAC

Dr. Maria Vanina Martinez, Computer Science Professor, University of Buenos Aires


Branka Marijan
+1 519-888-6541 ext. 24301
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Online Event
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Office Address

Project Ploughshares
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G6 Canada
Phone: 519-888-6541 • FAX: 519-888-0018
Toll Free Number: 1-888-907-3223
Email: plough@ploughshares.ca


Project Ploughshares is the peace research institute of The Canadian Council of Churches.

And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war anymore. – Isaiah 2:4

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