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.

How Canada can get up to speed on the ban on autonomous weapons

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured

Disarmament and arms control have not featured prominently, if at all, in mandate letters to Canada’s foreign ministers in many years. But at the end of 2019, Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne was given a new mandate to “advance international efforts to ban the development and use of fully autonomous weapons systems.”

In a welcome shift, Canada makes banning killer robots a foreign policy priority

Cesar Jaramillo Emerging Technologies

It sounds like the stuff of science fiction. Enabled by significant advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, fully autonomous weapons systems with the ability to select targets and employ lethal force with no human involvement—also known as killer robots—may soon emerge.

Clearview AI and the public use of facial-recognition technology

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

Police forces were not forthcoming about their use of Clearview AI and facial-recognition technology in general, until a February report revealed that Canada was the largest market for Clearview AI technology outside the United States. The technology seems to have spread quietly, sometimes without the knowledge of those in charge.

A leadership role on ethical AI is Canada’s to take or lose

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, News

Canada is certainly capable of promoting global norms, with a federal government commitment to fund AI research, an active AI community, and a rapidly developing tech sector. Expert help is available from leading AI researchers in Canadian universities and industries. Research institutes and civil-society groups also have expertise on various applications of AI.

Canada to support a ban on autonomous weapons 

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, News

The question now is what happens next and how will the mandate be implemented when UN discussions on this issue resume in June. While fully autonomous weapons systems do not yet exist, experts agree that they soon will.