BLUFThis article explores the dilemma of melding arms control with emerging technologies involving autonomous weapons systems.
Australia has always displayed a strong commitment to arms control. However, Australia is also embracing emerging technologies used in what is known as lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS). Australia argues that a treaty on LAWS is premature and that AI technologies can improve safety and reduce risks. In this article, Stephanie Koorey explores this dilemma by arguing that while these new systems promise to be cheaper and less risky, they can also make mistakes and make escalation more likely. As well, Koorey poses the question: should these machines be allowed to make life-and-death decisions? Some scholars, special interest groups and the UN secretary general, have expressed serious concerns over the removal of human control over a final decision, allowing a machine to decide whether or not to use lethal force. As South African legal scholar Christof Heyns put it: ‘the weapon may now become the warrior.’
Oct 2020 The Guardian Machines set loose to slaughter’: the dangerous rise of military AI
Nov 2020 Air University USA Risks and Benefits of Autonomous Weapon Systems: Perceptions among Future Australian Defence Force Officers
Jan 2021 The Diplomat Militaries Are Planning for an Autonomous Revolution. What if the Tech Isn’t Up to It?
Feb 2021 ASPI The artificial intelligence ‘backseater’ in future air combat
May 2021 Three Rules For Designing Autonomous Law Enforcement Technology
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