Conceptualizing lethal autonomous weapon systems and their impact on the conduct of war - A study on the incentives, implementation and implications of weapons independent of human control

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Conceptualizing lethal autonomous weapon systems and their impact on the conduct of war - A study on the incentives, implementation and implications of weapons independent of human control

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Publication Bachelor thesis
Title Conceptualizing lethal autonomous weapon systems and their impact on the conduct of war - A study on the incentives, implementation and implications of weapons independent of human control
Author Simon, Sascha
Date 2019
English abstract
The thesis has aimed to study the emergence of a new weapons technology, also known as ‘killer robots’ or lethal autonomous weapon system. It seeks to answer what factors drive the development and deployment of this weapon system without ‘meaningful human control’, a component that allows the decision to kill to be delegated to machines. The research question focuses on seeking the motivations to develop and deploy LAWS, as well as the consequences this would have on military conduct and conflict characteristics. The incentives they bring up and the way of adopting them has been studied by synthesizing antinomic democratic peace theory and adoption capacity theory respectively. The findings of this qualitative content analysis lead to two major conclusions. (1) That LAWS present severe risk avoidance and costs reduction potential for the user. These factors have a more prevalent pull on democracies than autocracies, since they stand to benefit from LAWS’ specific capabilities more in comparison. (2) That their adoption is aided by low financial intensity needed to adopt it, due to the high commercial profitability and applicability of AI technology, and the ease of a spillover to military sphere. Their adoption is hindered by high organizational capital needed to implement the drastic changes LAWS bring. All of this leads to the prediction that LAWS are likely to proliferate further, at a medium speed, and potentially upset the balance of power.
Publisher Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle
Language eng (iso)
Subject Lethal autonomous weapon systems
LAWS
Autonomy
Automation
Technology
Security
War
Ethics
Arms control
Proliferation
Democratic Peace Theory
Adaption Capacity Theory
Diffusion
Meaningful human control
Killer Robots
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/30241 Permalink to this page
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