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Killer Robots Considered Harmful

Laura Nolan

Killer robots may sound like something from a movie, but in recent years weapons have been developed that can select targets and attack without any human input, and expert systems have been used to assist in military targeting.

Some argue that this is a positive development, because automation can increase precision in targeting and reduce civilian casualties. However, others point out that highly automated systems do not have a good track record in complex and high-stakes real world situations, and military conflict is unlikely to be better.

This talk will outline the technological underpinnings of autonomous weapons and automated targeting systems, as well as examining the legal and ethical debate over these systems that has been happening at the UN over the past decade.

About the keynoter

Affiliation: Campaign to Stop Killer Robots

Laura Nolan is a software engineer who focuses on software operations and reliability. She holds degrees in Computer Science and in Ethics, and is currently completing another MA in Strategic Studies. Since 2018, Laura has been part of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an umbrella organisation of NGOs that works towards a legally-binding instrument to regulate autonomous weapons.