cover image: Automating Warfare: Implications of Lethal Autonomous Weapons on the Battlefield


Automating Warfare: Implications of Lethal Autonomous Weapons on the Battlefield

16 Mar 2023

The arms technology race in LAWS, particularly between the United States and China, is reflective of the fact that a ban on such systems will not be in the offing in the foreseeable future. [...] The US DoD’s ‘Artificial Intelligence Strategy’ also highlighted the dangers of failing to recognise the pressing need of AI in the defence sector.20 It also asserted that responsible use of AI could contribute positively to all aspects of the Department.21 In parallel, the ‘Joint All Domain Command and Control’ (JADC2) with the ultimate objective to centralise the planning and execution phase is. [...] Reliability of weapons can be impacted by the environment, the complexity of the task and how the systems interact with the environment.81 While a particular system may perform in a reliable way in one environment, it may perform in a different manner in another, leading to lesser reliability of both the system and the battlefield.82 Accountability Gaps The advent of LAWS can give rise to signific. [...] In case a system is misused, who will be held responsible? Will it be the programmer, the developer, the military commander in-charge, the larger Command and Control or a combination of all? A programmer or the developer may lack the information regarding the intent of potential use of a weapon in different scenarios, whereas the commander who may be responsible for that weapon may not be fully in. [...] The absence of consensus on the definition and the potential benefits of the technology in the form of a more robust defence force inhibits international consensus to ban it.
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