Last Week on Earth with GARI podcast

Autonomous weapon systems: now & tomorrow with Frank Sauer

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"There are no autonomous weapons, only autonomy in weapons systems"

Frank Sauer is a Senior Research Fellow at Bundeswehr University Munich and the Head of Research at the Metis Institute for Strategy and Foresight. He currently serves as a senior advisor on the International Panel on the Regulation of Autonomous Weapons (iPRAW) and as a subject matter expert in the commission on the responsible use of technologies in the European ‘Future Combat Air System’ (FCAS). He is also a leading member of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC), one of the founding NGOs of the ‘Campaign to Stop Killer Robots’. He regularly sits with the UN on discussions around nuclear, cyber, and autonomous weapons.

  • Autonomous weapons, where we are now, what are the biggest misconceptions, where is it all heading, what are the challenges, the opportunities, the whole shebang.
  • Language, paradigms, the way you shape and make regulation 
  • How do countries act and who's the biggest spoiler state in Geneva at the UN table?
  • Unprecedented formulated position by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the guardian of international humanitarian law, rules and regulations on how to conduct warfare
  • Is there a timeframe of when there could be a technological breakthrough that could render the international law frame useless?
  • Use of AI - an enabling technology, and object recognition and sensor data fusion
  • How is advancement in AI reflected in advancement in applied AI in defense? When will this advance?
  • Why do private-sector companies not want to be involved in military innovation? 
  • How can the human foresee what the weapon will be doing? How can the human administer it? How can we trace back the responsibility of handing over the controls over the critical functions to the machine?  
  • Responsible use of autonomous weapons systems
  • The role of philosophy and sociology - is there a philosophy, or change in human behaviour and our perception of it, coming out from the development and discussions around autonomous weapons systems?
  • Are people at international tables, at the UN, struggling with new information and new expertise and the need to discuss it and decide what should be regulated, but even just understand what they’re talking about? How long does it take for everyone to be on the same page? 
  • What will happen in the next 30 years? What will the development be and what will the conversation be?

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