Who Should Give the Kill Command?

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The Department of Defense is seeking a significant increase for autonomous weapons programs in efforts to remain competitive with Russia and China, both of which have invested heavily in the technology that drive those systems.

Meanwhile a Pentagon-initiated report intended to provide guidelines on the future use of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) could be delivered to DoD in as little as a month by the Defense Innovation Board, a body made up of a number of senior Silicon Valley executives.  

The request for guidelines follows a petition circulated by Google employees last year, protesting use of the company’s AI capabilities to support DoD’s Project Maven, a drone imaging program.  

The Cipher Brief asked former Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Doug Wise, former Special Assistant to the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and author of the award-winning book, Army of None, Paul Scharre and current adjunct economist at the RAND Corporation as well as CISAC fellow with Stanford, Radha Iyengar Plumb to provide their thoughts on the future of war and how important it is for the U.S. (both the public and private sectors) to get this right.


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