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AI with AI

Episode 1.39: Terminator or Data? Policy and Safety for Autonomous Weapons

This week Andy and Dave take a respite from the world of AI. In the meantime, Larry Lewis hosts Shawn Steene from the Office of Secretary of Defense. Shawn manages DOD Directive 3000.09 – US military policy on autonomous weapons – and is a member of the US delegation to the UN’s CCW meetings on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS). Shawn and Larry discuss U.S. policy, what DOD Directive 3000.09 actually means, and how the future of AI could more closely resemble the android data than SKYNET from the Terminator movies. That leads to a discussion of some common misconceptions about artificial intelligence and autonomy in military applications, and how these misconceptions can manifest themselves in the UN talks. With data having single-handedly saved the day in the eighth and tenth Star Trek movies (First Contact and Nemesis, respectively), perhaps Star Trek should be required viewing for the next UN meeting in Geneva.

Larry Lewis is the Director of the Center for Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence at CNA. His areas of expertise include lethal autonomy, reducing civilian casualties, identifying lessons from current operations, security assistance, and counterterrorism.

CNA Office of Communications

John Stimpson, Communications Associate