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AI won’t kill us in the form of a time-travelling humanoid robot with an Austrian accent. But: AI is used in various military applications – supporting new concepts of command and control and enabling autonomous targeting functions. This accelerates warfare and erodes human control, causing legal & ethical challenges.

Myth

AI will kill us all! Killer robots will strive for world domination! And invent time travel! While the Sci-Fi Terminator trope might be a bit over the top, AI becomes an integral part of military decision-making all over the world. In that context, AI will help killing people.

Military applications of AI support novel operational concepts and enable autonomous targeting functions. This accelerates warfare and can improve decisions – but also erodes human control.

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Material

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CORE READINGS

Sauer, F. (2020). Stepping back from the brink: Why multilateral regulation of autonomy in weapons systems is difficult, yet imperative and feasible. International Review of the Red Cross, 102(913), 235–259. Read here.

Dahlmann, A., & Dickow, M. (2019). Preventive regulation of autonomous weapon systems: Need for action by Germany at various levels (Vol. 3/2019). Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik -SWP- Deutsches Institut für Internationale Politik und Sicherheit. Read here.

ADDITIONAL READINGS
Paul Scharre (2018), Army of None. Read here.

IPRAW. (2017, November). International Panel on the Regulation of Autonomous Weapons. Read here.

Schörnig, N. (2019). Paul Scharre: Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War, London: W.W. Norton 2018. SIRIUS – Zeitschrift Für Strategische Analysen, 3(1), 107–108. Read here.
UNICORN IN THE FIELD
The International Panel on the Regulation of Autonomous Weapons (iPRAW) is an international, interdisciplinary, and independent network of researchers working on the issue of  lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS). It aims at supporting the current debate within the UN CCW with scientifically grounded information and recommendations.

About the author

Anja Dahlmann

Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik – German Institute for International and Security Affairs

Anja Dahlmann holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Göttingen. She works as a researcher at the Berlin-based think tank Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik and is the head of the International Panel on the Regulation of Autonomous Weapons (iPRAW). Therefore, she focuses on emerging technologies and disarmament, especially on so-called lethal autonomous weapon systems.

@adahlma


Why, AI?

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