More clarity on Canada’s views on military applications of artificial intelligence needed

Branka Marijan Featured, News

Canada appears to be leading the way in the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI) with a number of initiatives and guidelines intended to to ensure that AI applications are based on sound reasoning and common values. However, largely absent in its discussions of strategy and risk are military applications of AI—in particular, the growing autonomy of weapons systems. Canada …

Civil society under surveillance

Branka Marijan Featured Leave a Comment

Many civil society groups and activists—yes, in Canada, as well as in many other countries—have solid grounds for believing that they have been and are still under surveillance—by national security agencies and now, increasingly, by private entities.

The military, AI, and why it’s time to worry

Branka Marijan Featured Leave a Comment

“We are not talking about walking, talking terminator robots that are about to take over the world; what we are worried about is much more looming: conventional weapons systems with autonomy. They are beginning to sneak in.”

Blurring the lines: Virtual, mixed reality and the future of warfare

Branka Marijan Armed Conflicts, Featured, News

In early October 2017, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and colleague Rachel Franklin sat in offices in California wearing headsets while they toured a video by National Public Radio of hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico using virtual-reality application Spaces. In a live stream, cartoon characters Zuckerberg and Franklin could be seen touring the footage of the island. The broadcast created a large backlash. …

EVENT: Make Cool Tech Stuff (Not Weapons)

Ploughshares Featured, News

“We should not lose sight of the fact that, unlike other potential manifestations of AI which still remain in the realm of science fiction, autonomous weapons systems are on the cusp of development right now and have a very real potential to cause significant harm to innocent people along with global instability. The development of lethal autonomous weapons systems is …

Are emerging technologies making us safer?

Branka Marijan Featured Leave a Comment

Technology companies, governments, and militaries all want the rest of us to trust new systems and emerging technologies that employ artificial intelligence to provide services, assist in policing, and even wage war more effectively and efficiently. They want us to feel “safer” with emerging technologies and artificial intelligence (AI). Do we? Should we? Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 39 Issue 3 …

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 …

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 …

Autonomous Kalashnikovs?

Branka Marijan Featured Leave a Comment

The Russian manufacturer is developing weapons that can identify targets using artificial intelligence Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov is best known as the producer of the infamous assault rifle, the AK-47. The AK-47, as journalist C.J. Chivers (2010) notes, has “fundamentally rewritten the rules of modern warfare,” mainly due to the “ease of use, cost, reliability, and readily available parts and …

On Elon Musk, AI and killer robots

Branka Marijan Featured, News

Last month, 116 robotics experts, including Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, signed a letter calling on the United Nations to take action on lethal autonomous weapons systems or killer robots. Musk has become the chief figure warning about the military uses of artificial intelligence (AI), and has brought increased media attention to the issue. Recently, Musk pointed to remarks …