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Lethal Autonomous WeaponsRe-Examining the Law and Ethics of Robotic Warfare$
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Jai Galliott, Duncan MacIntosh, and Jens David Ohlin

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197546048

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197546048.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 27 January 2022

The Humanitarian Imperative for Minimally-Just AI in Weapons

The Humanitarian Imperative for Minimally-Just AI in Weapons

(p.57) 4 The Humanitarian Imperative for Minimally-Just AI in Weapons
Lethal Autonomous Weapons

Jason Scholz

Jai Galliott

Oxford University Press

For the use of force to be lawful and morally just, future autonomous systems must not commit humanitarian errors or acts of fratricide. To achieve this, we distinguish a novel preventative form of minimally-just autonomy using artificial intelligence (MinAI) to avert attacks on protected symbols, protected sites, and signals of surrender. MinAI compares favorably with respect to maximally-just forms proposed to date. We examine how fears of speculative artificial general intelligence has distracted resources from making current weapons more compliant with international humanitarian law, particularly Additional Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention and its Article 36. Critics of our approach may argue that machine learning can be fooled, that combatants can commit perfidy to protect themselves, and so on. We confront this issue, including recent research on the subversion of AI, and conclude that the moral imperative for MinAI in weapons remains undiminished.

Keywords:   machine ethics, machine reasoning, machine learning, autonomous weapon systems, legal robots, artificial intelligence

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