Collaborating Authors


'Machines set loose to slaughter': the dangerous rise of military AI


Two menacing men stand next to a white van in a field, holding remote controls. They open the van's back doors, and the whining sound of quadcopter drones crescendos. They flip a switch, and the drones swarm out like bats from a cave. In a few seconds, we cut to a college classroom. The students scream in terror, trapped inside, as the drones attack with deadly force. The lesson that the film, Slaughterbots, is trying to impart is clear: tiny killer robots are either here or a small technological advance away. And existing defences are weak or nonexistent.

The civilian private sector: part of a new arms control regime? ORF


Four years ago, I stood in the darkened operations center in front of a wall of blinking screens, arms crossed and squinting at video footage on one of them. The commander asked me for the second time, signaling toward the figure on the screen. I looked over and reviewed a mental checklist of the individual's pattern of life over more than a decade. I weighed this against his latest movements, reflected on the screen in real time. The commander took a step toward me and started again, "Kara. We are running out of time. I had a decision to make. Using a machine to determine the validity of the target and take action is a nonstarter. But not everyone agrees on the details. Though the machines I dealt with that day were only semi-autonomous, it is not difficult to imagine a world where fully autonomous weapons are programmed to make a lethal decision. Institutions, countries, industry, and society must choose when and how to govern this technology in today's world, where semi-autonomous ...

Podcast: Six Experts Explain the Killer Robots Debate - Future of Life Institute


Why are so many AI researchers so worried about lethal autonomous weapons? What makes autonomous weapons so much worse than any other weapons we have today? And why is it so hard for countries to come to a consensus about autonomous weapons? Not surprisingly, the short answer is: it's complicated. In this month's podcast, Ariel spoke with experts from a variety of perspectives on the current status of LAWS, where we are headed, and the feasibility of banning these weapons. Guests include ex-Pentagon advisor Paul Scharre (3:40), artificial intelligence professor Toby Walsh (40:51), Article 36 founder Richard Moyes (53:30), Campaign to Stop Killer Robots founders Mary Wareham and Bonnie Docherty (1:03:38), and ethicist and co-founder of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, Peter Asaro (1:32:39). You can listen to the podcast above, and read the full transcript below. You can check out previous podcasts on SoundCloud, iTunes, GooglePlay, and Stitcher. If you work with ...