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 …

10 Things You Should Know About Killer Robots

Ploughshares Leave a Comment

1. What are Killer Robots? Actually, pretty much what they sound like. These are autonomous weapons systems that could kill human beings without any human involvement in the critical functions of target selection and the employment of lethal force. Lethal autonomous weapons systems could take many physical forms, and could also operate in large numbers and distributed architectures. The emergence …

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.”

The AI arms race: The Cold War mindset returns

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Featured Leave a Comment

Concerns about an artificial-intelligence (AI) arms race between advanced militaries have been raised by many experts and analysts, including SpaceX founder Elon Musk and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. Scientists and engineers are also becoming increasingly vocal in discussions on the weaponization of AI, urging governments to develop regulations to prohibit certain applications of AI in weapons technology. But they …

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 …

Why the “tech for good” conversation needs to be more inclusive and transparent

Branka Marijan Featured, News

Over the last year, the focus on “tech for good” and ethical artificial intelligence has become more prominent in media discussion, as well as within tech circles in Canada and globally. In the last few months, several workshops and conferences have raised this issue. Because U.S. policies and restrictions on travel are denying access to some international participants, conference and …

Seven key insights from RightsCon 2018

Branka Marijan Featured 1 Comment

And the inevitable questions RightsCon, one of the world’s largest annual meetings of digital rights activists, was held in Toronto from May 16-18. Access Now, which organized the conference, decided to hold this year’s event in Toronto instead of San Francisco, partly because of visa restrictions in the United States, but also because of Toronto’s growing reputation as a tech …

Human-less or human more?

Branka Marijan Featured Leave a Comment

Recently, Lockheed Martin, the U.S. aerospace and defence company, released a promotional video of its work on autonomous systems. The main message: “The future of autonomy isn’t human-less. It’s human more.” Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 39 Issue 2 Summer 2018 by Branka Marijan Doublethink lives on This formulation brings to mind George Orwell. In his novel 1984, Newspeak, the language …