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Lords Committee to discuss meaningful human control of AI weapons

Wednesday 24 March 2023

At 10am on Thursday 25 May the Lords Artificial Intelligence in Weapons Systems Committee will hold its sixth public evidence session examining at what point humans should be involved in the process of using AI Weapons and how to ensure that AI Weapons perform in a predictable and robust way.

The Committee will hear from:

  • Jurriaan Van Diggelen, Senior Researcher in AI and Program Leader, Human-machine Teaming at Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research
  • Muffy Calder, Vice Principal and Head of College of Science and Engineering at University of Glasgow
  • Gopal Ramchurn, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at University of Southampton

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

Possible question topics include:

  • Meaningful human control with respect to AI weapons systems
  • Methods available to ensure that AI systems will perform robustly to settings which might be different to those in which they’ve been trained
  • Testing systems needed to evaluate the performance of AI systems
  • The potential for tampering with training data, the negative consequences and mitigations
  • Procedures needed to ensure AI-enabled weapons systems will be responsibly designed and lawfully used

Background:

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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