Artificial Intelligence


Friday, December 11, 2020, 11:00am - 12:00pm PSTiCal
Virtually via Zoom
This event is open to the public.
AI Seminar
Keith Abney, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Abstract: Lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) have become a cause célèbre, with our ONR report ( jumpstarting the past decade of discussion, leading to UN hearings on bans with groups like CSKR ( But the ever-increasing tempo and complexity of warfare makes the push to AI warfare seem unstoppable, with some US officials admitting its inevitability, particularly in frontier domains like space. This talk discusses the ethics of LAWS and sketches out some future scenarios that we should hope to avoid.

Biography: Prof. Keith Abney is senior fellow of the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group, based at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he is a philosophy professor. His publications include two books, Robot Ethics (MIT Press, 2012) and Robot Ethics 2.0 (Oxford University Press, 2017), and a special journal edition on the ethics of space colonization (Futures, 2019) as well as several funded ethics/policy reports on autonomous military robotics (Office of Naval Research, 2008), enhanced warfighters (Greenwall Foundation, 2013), cybersecurity (NSF, 2016), and a current NSF project on predictive policing.  Prof. Abney has given invited briefings to industry, media, and government, and he teaches courses focusing on the intersection of ethics and technology.

« Return to Events