Followers of Narrative Science have no doubt heard or read musings from my co-founder and our Chief Scientist, Kris Hammond. Kris has an uncanny ability to make the complex simple and the mundane interesting. He also has strong opinions and is unapologetic in voicing those opinions. For all of these reasons, it was no surprise that Kris was asked to join a United Nations policy committee run by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).
The research project the committee has undertaken is The Weaponization of Increasingly Autonomous Technologies: Implications for Security and Arms Control. In short, the committee is charged with helping policy makers understand the issues related to autonomy, chains of responsibility, predictability, and the scope of actions that can be taken by autonomous devices in the battlefield. In addition, the committee will attempt to clarify and demystify the issues related to the nature of autonomous devices, the current state of the technology, the current deployments of semi-autonomous systems and the automation of what has been, to date, human-level decision making.
Kris is the primary technical member of the committee and brings his deep experience in artificial intelligence and autonomous information systems to this important initiative.
The issues that the committee are addressing have wide-ranging implications and relevancy well beyond autonomous weaponry and other battlefield technologies.
Ultimately, as we become more and more reliant on the machine, and the machine becomes less and less reliant on us, these types of operational, ethical and policy considerations will need to be addressed more broadly and will impact the use of Smart Machines in our everyday lives.
We are incredibly pleased that Kris is at the forefront of dealing with these complex and important issues.