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Lord Sedwill to give evidence on national security implications of AI weapon development and use

Wednesday 7 June 2023

At 10am on Thursday 8 June the Lords Artificial Intelligence in Weapons Systems Committee will hear from former National Security Advisor Lord Sedwill alongside academics and experts on implications of the development and use of AI weapons including the case for regulating AI weapons.

The Committee will hear from:


  • The Lord Sedwill KCMG, former National Security Advisor
  • Hugh Durrant-Whyte, Director of the Centre for Translation Data Science at University of Sydney


  • Richard Moyes, Managing Director at Article 36
  • Noel Sharkey, Emeritus Professor of AI and Robotics and Professor of Public Engagement at University of Sheffield
  • Dr Paddy Walker, Senior Research Fellow in Modern War Studies, University of Buckingham

The evidence session will be available to watch live or on demand on  or in person in Committee Room 4, Palace of Westminster.

Possible question topics include:

  • The benefits and most pressing concerns associated with autonomous weapons systems (AWS) for the UK’s national security
  • The UK’s policy on AWS and the impact of the UK’s development on AWS on its position on the global stage
  • The scrutiny of AI in weapons systems compared to non-AI powered weapons
  • Future proofing the regulation of AI weapons


Autonomous weapons systems have been defined as systems that can select and attack a target without human intervention. These systems could revolutionise warfare, with some suggesting that they would be faster, more accurate and more resilient than existing weapons systems and could limit the casualties of war.

However, concerns have arisen about the ethics of these systems, how they can be used safely and reliably, whether they risk escalating wars more quickly, and their compliance with international humanitarian law.

Throughout its inquiry the Committee will be looking at a wide range of issues surrounding autonomous weapons systems, including:

  • The challenges, risks and benefits associated with them.
  • The technical, legal and ethical safeguards that are necessary to ensure that they are used safely, reliably and accountably.

The sufficiency of current UK policy and the state of international policymaking on autonomous weapons systems.

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