Autonomous Weapon Systems
Autonomous weapon systems have been in the news a lot recently. From depictions of out of control automated systems in the near future to ongoing experiments by the military, automation has become one of the new hot topics.
Slaughterbots, a short video by the Future of Life Institute, depicts a possible future where cheap, autonomous weapon systems guided by artificial intelligence become widely accessible, allowing virtually anyone to anonymously target and kill their opposition. The video is both alarming and thought provoking.

Paul Scharrefrom the Center for New American Security argues, however, that the video gives an unrealistic portrayal of the future of autonomous weapons, both because most governments will be able to defend against them and because it is impossible to prevent the technology, most of which already exists, from becoming widespread.

John Spencerfrom the Modern War Institute writes about the challenges drones present in today’s urban warfare, and how drone swarms may soon challenge attackers and defenders alike.
Soldiers at the Maneuver Center of Excellence Combat Vehicle Modernization Summit in August demonstrated supervised autonomy. An Abrams crew controlled several semi-autonomous drones while executing its mission.

The new year will be just as filled with opportunities for defense innovators. Facebook is launching the Facebook Cybersecurity University for Veterans. Facebook VetWorking has teamed up with CodePath to teach veteranswho are currently students or experienced professionals with some CS/IT background or has a CS degree, the fundamentals of Cybersecurity. The program begins in February.

The New York Times is relaunching itsAt War community. At War existed as a blog from 2009 to 2016. It’s new iteration will cover combatants, civilians in conflict, medical and aid workers, and others with first-hand experience in war.

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