We need to restart talks on regulating autonomous weapons—now

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured

To no one’s surprise, United Nations discussions on the regulation of autonomous weapons have stalled. Last year, the global pandemic caused delays, with only one week of discussions—partly in Geneva, Switzerland and partly virtual—taking place from September 21-25. November’s annual meeting of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), at which the 2021 schedule for discussions on autonomous weapons would have been set, was cancelled.

Autonomous collaborative weapons

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

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 problem

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

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 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.

5 Misconceptions about Autonomous Weapons Systems

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured

During several years of discussions on autonomous weapons at the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), several arguments against their regulation have surfaced. Some seem intentionally misleading, while others are out of touch with the rapid development of emerging technologies and the current trends in academic research and analysis.

How should militaries use AI?

Ploughshares Ploughshares Monitor

Militaries are doing more research and development of artificial intelligence (AI), and are looking to implement AI systems. In early August of this year, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced that later in the month a human fighter pilot would face off against an AI algorithm in virtual combat.

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 …

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.