The use of drones by nonstate actors

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured, Ploughshares Monitor Leave a Comment

In January of this year, armed drones owned by Houthis, a Yemeni rebel group, killed several Yemeni government officials. This was the first time, as far as we know, that a nonstate group had successfully deployed a drone to carry out a precision-targeted operation. In September, the Houthis, with alleged support from Iran, were suspected in the attack on the world’s largest oil-processing facility in Saudi Arabia.

Putting controls on remote warfare to protect civilians

Branka Marijan Emerging Technologies, Featured, Ploughshares Monitor Leave a Comment

Earlier this year, Amnesty International (AI) released a report, The Hidden US War in Somalia: Civilian Casualties from Air Strikes in Lower Shabelle. According to this report, which explored five incidents, at least 14 civilians had been killed by airstrikes from both manned aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones).

Event: Launch reception for The Cultural Life of Drones: KW Drone Dialogues

Ben Skinner Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, Event, Featured

Join us for a free reception celebrating the upcoming Grebel Gallery exhibit, The Cultural Life of Drones: KW Drone Dialogues by Sara Matthews. What does it mean to think of drones as culture? If culture is the range of social practices through which we come to know and engage with the world, then drone cultures might be the myriad ways in …

New Technologies and Conflict Escalation

Branka Marijan Featured, News

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, Glenn S. Gerstell, the general counsel for the United States National Security Agency, explains why the United States cannot afford to lose the digital revolution. He lays out the ways in which technology will transform national security threats and predicts a bleak future of constant cyberwarfare and new weapons. Gerstell rightly notes …

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 …

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 …

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.”

Unintended consequences and malicious uses of AI

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, 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 …

Robocops, drones, and the changing nature of law enforcement: How and when to regulate?  

Branka Marijan Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, Featured, News

Recently, Dubai’s police force announced that by the end of the year it will have mini autonomous police cars that feature facial recognition technology, thermal imaging, and built-in drones patrolling the streets. As The Washington Post reports, the vehicles will be able to read licence plates, and record and track suspects, while the built-in drones can be deployed in areas …

Emerging Technologies: Civil Society Statement to the United Nations

Cesar Jaramillo Conventional Weapons, Emerging Technologies, Space Security

The following is the civil society statement on emerging technologies as delivered by Project Ploughshares Program Officer Cesar Jaramillo to the UN General Assembly First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) on October 29, 2013. Jaramillo was the lead drafter for the space security part of the statement, which also covers the use of armed drones. Outer space Humankind has become …