Autonomous Armed Robots & the Principle of Distinction: Does Robotic Killing Violate the Laws of War? | LAWS Workshop @ ICRA 2022

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About the Video:
Experts in the laws of war have been grappling with the ethics and legality of semi-autonomous weapons systems such as heat-sensing lethal drones. Many have praised the use of technologies on the grounds that they provide greater distinction than the indiscriminate bombing of the wars of the past. Despite numerous accounts of civilian collateral damage from remote targeting, the principle of distinction seems better supported by such technology, as long as human deployment techniques can take advantage of it. A new type of remote instrumentality of war, however, may prove more controversial. Remotely fired or movement sensing machine guns, such as that which killed the Iranian nuclear scientist Moshen Fakhrizadeh, makes use of AI technology yet is subject to human control. This presentation considers whether the next generation of AI based lethal technologies comports with the basic requirements of the law of armed conflict (LOAC), and whether such instrumentalities should be assessed differently from traditional lethal drone technology from a legal and ethical standpoint. It also addresses questions of responsibility for collateral damage from both types of technology.

About the Speaker:
Claire Finkelstein is the Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. Her current research addresses national security law and policy, democratic governance, and professional ethics. Professor Finkelstein is the founder and faculty director of the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law (CERL), a non-partisan interdisciplinary institute affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC). She is a distinguished research fellow at APPC and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). She has published widely in national security and democratic governance, and most recently led a working group of over 30 national security professionals to produce a significant report discussing recommendations for closing Guantanamo Bay Prison. Professor Finkelstein is a sought-after national security consultant, briefing individuals, Pentagon officials, U.S. Senate staff, and JAG Corps members on issues relating to national security law and practice. She is also regularly consulted on matters of personal and professional ethics. She is a frequent radio, podcast, broadcast, and print commentator and has published op-eds in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg and Newsweek. Her other scholarly work has focused on criminal law theory, moral and political philosophy, jurisprudence, and rational choice theory.

Recorded at the Workshop on Addressing Ethical and Technical Challenges in the Development, Use and Governance of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems during the 2022 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA).

Produced in partnership with the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (https://www.ieee-ras.org/).

Recording funded in part by a grant from the United Engineering Foundation (https://www.uefoundation.org/).
 

About the Video:
Experts in the laws of war have been grappling with the ethics and legality of semi-autonomous weapons systems such as heat-sensing lethal drones. Many have praised the use of technologies on the grounds that they provide greater distinction than the indiscriminate bombing of the wars of the past. Despite numerous accounts of civilian collateral damage from remote targeting, the principle of distinction seems better supported by such technology, as long as...

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