Dakota digital discussions

A series of webinars that will respond to the ongoing impacts that digitization, artificial intelligence, and autonomous systems are having on our society.

From February 22, 2023

In Defense of (Virtuous) Autonomous Systems
with Professor Don Howard, University of Notre Dame

Don Howard, Professor of Philosophy at Notre Dame and former director of Notre Dame’s Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values, says lots of people worry that introducing fully autonomous weapons is but the first step to a robot apocalypse or, at least, that taking the kill decision out of human hands would be fundamentally immoral, and so have been calling for an international ban on such weapons. Not enough attention is given to the possible moral gains that autonomous weapons might afford us. One main aim of this discussion is to explore what those gains could include. But, of course, as we introduce ever more autonomy in weapons, we must do so in the right way, with appropriate and politically feasible international norms. Sadly, the strident insistence on a ban has thwarted efforts to establish such norms. The discussion’s second main point is to sketch a framework for norming the space of autonomous weapons through a framework based on already established international law.

The Dakota Digital Discussions is an offspring of the Dakota Digital Academy (DDA). The DDA was founded to help students and professionals develop and
upskill cyber knowledge and skills.