Image credit: CNAS

April 27, 2018

When weapons can think for themselves

Featuring Paul Scharre

Source: The Economist

Journalist Economist Staff

ARTIFICIAL intelligence (AI) is on the march, for good and ill. The AI that makes possible self-driving cars and diagnoses diseases more accurately than doctors will save lives. The AI that does jobs better than workers may be a more mixed blessing. But AI that might give machines—“killer robots”—the responsibility for deciding how wars are fought, and who gets killed, is a science-fiction nightmare. Paul Scharre, a former army ranger, explores this dystopian prospect in “Army of None”.

Mr Scharre interviews the engineers building autonomous weapons and the strategists preparing for their arrival. He sees first-hand what to expect from these technologies, such as swarms of small, low-cost drones locked in aerial combat, manoeuvring with superhuman co-ordination. The speed of these developments, he finds, both excites and disturbs the military establishment. The generals know they are entering an era in which algorithms will determine success on the battlefield, and humans may be unable to keep up with the pace of combat.

Read the Full Article at The Economist


  • Paul Scharre

    Vice President and Director of Studies

    Paul Scharre is the Vice President and Director of Studies at CNAS. He is the award-winning author of Four Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. His firs...