Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Weaponry, and the Future of Warfare
Author: Louis A. Del Monte
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Category: Technology & Engineering
A technology expert describes the ever-increasing role of artificial intelligence in weapons development, the ethical dilemmas these weapons pose, and the potential threat to humanity. Artificial intelligence is playing an ever-increasing role in military weapon systems. Going beyond the bomb-carrying drones used in the Afghan war, the Pentagon is now in a race with China and Russia to develop "lethal autonomous weapon systems" (LAWS). In this eye-opening overview, a physicist, technology expert, and former Honeywell executive examines the advantages and the potential threats to humanity resulting from the deployment of completely autonomous weapon systems. Stressing the likelihood that these weapons will be available in the coming decades, the author raises key questions about how the world will be impacted. Though using robotic systems might lessen military casualties in a conflict, one major concern is: Should we allow machines to make life-and-death decisions in battle? Other areas of concern include the following: Who would be accountable for the actions of completely autonomous weapons--the programmer, the machine itself, or the country that deploys LAWS? When warfare becomes just a matter of technology, will war become more probable, edging humanity closer to annihilation? What if AI technology reaches a "singularity level" so that our weapons are controlled by an intelligence exceeding human intelligence? Using vivid scenarios that immerse the reader in the ethical dilemmas and existential threats posed by lethal autonomous weapon systems, the book reveals that the dystopian visions of such movies as The Terminator and I, Robot may become a frightening reality in the near future. The author concludes with concrete recommendations, founded in historical precedent, to control this new arms race.
Re-Examining the Law and Ethics of Robotic Warfare
Author: Jai Galliott
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The question of whether new rules or regulations are required to govern, restrict, or even prohibit the use of autonomous weapon systems has been the subject of debate for the better part of a decade. Despite the claims of advocacy groups, the way ahead remains unclear since the international community has yet to agree on a specific definition of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems and the great powers have largely refused to support an effective ban. In this vacuum, the public has been presented with a heavily one-sided view of Killer Robots. This volume presents a more nuanced approach to autonomous weapon systems that recognizes the need to progress beyond a discourse framed by the Terminator and HAL 9000. Re-shaping the discussion around this emerging military innovation requires a new line of thought and a willingness to challenge the orthodoxy. Lethal Autonomous Weapons focuses on exploring the moral and legal issues associated with the design, development and deployment of lethal autonomous weapons. In this volume, we bring together some of the most prominent academics and academic-practitioners in the lethal autonomous weapons space and seek to return some balance to the debate. As part of this effort, we recognize that society needs to invest in hard conversations that tackle the ethics, morality, and law of these new digital technologies and understand the human role in their creation and operation.
Born and raised in a small South Dakota prairie town, Ernest Orlando Lawrence (1901-1958), the grandson of Norwegian immigrants, was educated in country schools and attended the universities of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Chicago before obtaining his PhD at Yale in 1925. At age 29, he became the youngest full professor in the history of the University of California at Berkeley. He received the Nobel prize in 1939 for his invention of the cyclotron which became an essential tool during the Manhattan project to enrich uranium via electromagnetic separation at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lawrence founded and directed Berkeley’s Radiation Laboratory, where ever more powerful cyclotrons were built for basic research and to produce radioisotopes for medical and industrial uses. With Edward Teller, he advocated for the creation in 1952 of the Livermore National Laboratory to spur innovation, provide competition to Los Alamos and focus on the development of thermonuclear weapons. Lawrence had a lasting influence on American physics as the mentor and inspiration of a whole new generation of scientists, and through his role advising the top echelons of American government, research, and industry. When he died, at the age of 57, President Eisenhower said that, in a real sense, Lawrence had given his life for his country. “A remarkable book... must reading for anyone in the scientific or engineering development fields, whether he be a scientist, a researcher, a developer, or even a student still full of dreams of achievement... Throughout the book, the author has constantly brought out the qualities that made Ernest great...” — General Leslie R. Groves, former head of the Manhattan project “A detailed record of the life of an extraordinary man... The author was able to draw on vivid recollections of some 800 people who had known Lawrence and could provide what amounts to a series of detailed eyewitness accounts of important events in Lawrence’s life... a unique and valuable biography... those who have some memory of [Lawrence] will find this book fascinating, and historians will find it a rich source.” — Philip H. Abelson, Science “No other biography portrays so well the atmosphere of scientific research in America during the transition from small laboratories [...] to gigantic institutions... Herbert Childs has made the story of Lawrence’s life, and of his many accomplishments, into a story that can be appreciated by any intelligent reader, and is at the same time a most valuable addition to the scholarly history of science... Herbert Childs’ inspiring story of a great and generous pioneer and leader of modern physics, is a definitive account of an era that was, and will remain, unique in the history of science.” — Mark L. Oliphant,Physics Today “This is an extraordinary book about an extraordinary man... it provides a picture almost without parallel of the life and actions of a great man of science.” — Ralph E. Oesper, Journal of Chemical Education
The Life and Work of Richard Garwin, the Most Influential Scientist You've Never Heard of
Author: Joel N. Shurkin
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Richard Garwin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama Called a "true genius" by Enrico Fermi, Richard Garwin has influenced modern life in far-reaching ways, yet he is hardly known outside the physics community. This is the first biography of one of America's great minds--a top physicist, a brilliant technological innovator, and a trusted advisor of presidents for sixty years. Among his many contributions to modern technology are innovations we now take for granted: air-traffic control systems, touch screens, color monitors, laser printers, GPS satellite navigation, and many other facets of everyday contemporary life. But certainly his most important work has been on behalf of nuclear disarmament. As a key member of the Los Alamos team that developed the hydrogen bomb (he created the final design), Garwin subsequently devoted much of his career to ensuring that nuclear weapons never again be used. He has spent hundreds of hours testifying before Congress, serving on government advisory committees, and doing work that is still classified, all the while working for IBM as a researcher. A genuine polymath, his ideas extend from propulsion systems for interplanetary flight to preventing flu epidemics. Never shy about offering his opinions, even to rigid government bureaucracies unwilling to change, Garwin continues to show leaders how to do the smart thing. The world is a more interesting and safer place because of his many accomplishments.