A Commander’s View on Lethal Autonomous Weapons
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A Commander’s View on Lethal Autonomous Weapons

Stay in Command. Banning Lethal Autonomous Weapons.

An interview with Major General Michael Smith AO (ret).

A commanders perspective Lethal Autonomous Weapons

Interviewed by John Rodsted.

In the ‘Stay in Command’ episode today, Maj. Gen. Mike Smith (Ret.) and John Rodsted from SafeGround explore the issues surrounding the development of Lethal Autonomous Weapons with Artificial Intelligence. The mechanics, ethics and application of this new technology paints a disturbing picture of a world where machines decide who will live and who will die.

Hear directly from a commander’s point of view.

Major General Michael Smith (ret) has spent his life leading others. He graduated the Royal Military College Duntroon as Dux of his year in 1971 and since commanded everything from a Platoon to a Brigade. His 34 years in the Australian Army had him in some complicated situations.

He served as Australia’s Defence Adviser in Cambodia in 1994, and throughout 1999 was Director-General for East Timor. He was appointed as the first Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) in 2000-2001, in recognition he was awarded the Order of Australia.

After the army he was CEO of the Australian Refugee Agency Austcare from 2002 until 2008. He then set up the Australian Civil-Military Centre from 2008 until 2011. He is the last President of the United Nations Association in Australia and is the current chair of the Gallipoli Scholarship.

Michael holds a Masters degree in International Relations from the Australian National University, a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of New South Wales, and is a Fellow of the Australian College of Defence and Strategic Studies. He is also a graduate of the Cranlana leadership program and the Company Directors Course at the University of New England.

Today we will talk about leadership both civil and military and the complexities of command responsibility in regards to Lethal Autonomous Weapons.

Content in this episode:

"The Buck Stops Here" [00:02:33]

Legal Framework for Commanding in Conflict [00:05:10]

Introducing Lethal Autonomous Weapons to the battlefields [00:08:54]

The Nature of Wars [00:16:12]

A Possible Arms Race? [00:21:51]

Technology Development [00:25:05]

The Fog of War Continues [00:32:43]

Making The Decision To Go To War [00:38:27]

Banning these Lethal Autonomous Weapons? [00:41:44]

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