Should We Fear the Robot Army? Artificial Intelligence in the Military (Audio)

Michael Horowitz, associate professor of political science, discusses the role of AI in the armed forces.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Recorded and Edited by Alex Schein
Interviews by Alex Schein and Susan Alhborn

The Phalanx is a missile defense system used on naval ships to counter enemy fire. It is nicknamed “R2-D2” after the famous Star Wars droid.

In October, the White House issued "Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence," a report compiled after a series of national workshops was organized to address the potential benefits and dangers of our growing use of AI. Lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWs) are a focal point of a conversation which also continues to spark international debate. Are depictions of killer robots in films such as The Terminator really that far-fetched? Should we fear the development of weapons that can make decisions, or are these fears based more on science fiction than fact? In this OMNIA podcast episode we speak with Michael Horowitz, associate professor of political science and the associate director of Penn’s Perry World House. Horowitz first became interested in next-generation defense tools during a fellowship year at the Pentagon and has written and spoken extensively on military applications of AI. In 2015 he addressed a United Nations assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, dedicated to emerging issues related to autonomous weapons technologies.