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 …

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 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 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 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.”

Balancing individual rights and national security

Branka Marijan Featured, News

In his recent remarks at the Economic Club of Canada, Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) director David Vigneault indicated that new national security threats are keeping the country’s spies awake at night. While Vigneault acknowledged that terrorism is still a concern, he said that “foreign interference and espionage” are the “greatest threat to our prosperity and national interest.” Vigneault characterized …

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 …

We are ready for 2019

Cesar Jaramillo Conventional Weapons, Defence & Human Security, Featured, Forced Displacement and Migration, Nuclear Weapons, Space Security Leave a Comment

As 2018 ends, you may feel disheartened by the state of global security. Multiple, overlapping crises—some brewing, others already manifest—seem to outpace the international community’s capacity to respond effectively. Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 39 Issue 4 Winter 2018 by Cesar Jaramillo The world is in the midst of the worst refugee crisis in history. According to figures from the UN …

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. …