3 Key Takeaways from the Innovations Dialogue

Branka Marijan Featured, News Leave a Comment

The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research Innovations Dialogue held on August 19 at the UN Office in Geneva sought to address  the implications of artificial intelligence, quantum computing, blockchain, and the Internet of Things on arms control and disarmament.

What’s new in the world of autonomous weapons?

Branka Marijan Americas, Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, Europe, Featured

The call by some states and civil society for the regulation of autonomous weapons continues. But concern is also being expressed that investment and research in autonomous weapons systems are outpacing regulation. In advance of the August meetings of the Group of Governmental Experts at the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), here’s an overview of recent developments. 1. The …

The “plutonium of AI”: Facial-recognition technology

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, Featured Leave a Comment

San Francisco became the first city in the United States to ban law-enforcement and government agencies from using facial-recognition technology, which identifies individuals by facial features. Civil liberties advocates hope other cities and countries will soon produce their own versions of the “Stop Secret Surveillance” ordinance.

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

Branka Marijan Americas, Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, 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 …

Canada’s reluctant participation in peacekeeping in Mali: What it reveals

Branka Marijan Africa, Conventional Weapons, Defence & Human Security, Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

When Canada announced that it would not be extending its commitment to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali beyond one year, few were surprised. But many are perplexed that Canada is reportedly unwilling to consider a UN request to extend its mission until a replacement Romanian contingent arrives in October, a mere three-months extension. On April 5, a House …

Where does the world stand on killer robots? The view from recent UN meetings on autonomous weapons

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

From March 25 to 29, the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons met at the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in Geneva, Switzerland.

10 Things You Should Know About Killer Robots

Ploughshares Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies 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 …

Civil society under surveillance

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, 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 Americas, Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, 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.”

Canada’s future role in UN peace operations

Branka Marijan Africa, Armed Conflicts, Conventional Weapons, Defence & Human Security, Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

It has been almost three decades since Canada was among the leading contributors of troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions. In late 2017, the government announced Canada’s return to peace operations and, in March 2018, Canada deployed an Air Task Force to the UN mission in Mali. With the one-year period allotted for the Canadian mission coming to an end …