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Ethics of Emerging Weapons Technologies University of Notre Dame Spring 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Ethics of Emerging Weapons Technologies University of Notre Dame Spring 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethics of Emerging Weapons Technologies University of Notre Dame Spring 2012


3 Important Points US has experienced decades of war Different and challenging national security environment Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are dedicated and exceptionally good at what they do Uniformed military are the last to want a resort to armed conflict Intent is to raise awareness of ethical issues and develop a framework for thinking and deciding

4 Areas of Interest Research and Development – Does the mere act of development of a technology or modification of a technology to military purposes raise ethical issues? Deployment and Operations – Has sufficient consideration been given to the consequences of use of a new form of technology to national security purposes? Applicability of Just War Theory and International Humanitarian Law

5 Plan Historical Ethics Questions Changed Environment National Security Research New Technologies Potential Ethics Issues

6 Some Past Weapons Ethics Issues Crossbow versus Longbow – Pope Innocent II (1139) forbade its use Chemical warfare Biological Warfare Strategic Bombing in WWII Nuclear Weapons

7 The Changed Environment …and Social Media !

8 8 A Few Aspects of Our World Today Economic climate Competition for resources Fundamentalism, radicalism Astounding commercial technology – dual use - capabilities Shape-shifting, technologically sophisticated – and exceptionally brutal - enemies Public expectations of intelligence perfection - connecting the dots Deluge of multi-lingual structured and unstructured data, social media Weapons proliferation



11 Change that is too rapid can be deeply divisive; if only an elite can keep up, the rest of us will grow increasingly mystified about how the world works. We can understand natural biology, subtle as it is, because it holds still. But how will we ever be able to understand quantum computing or nanotechnology if its subtlety keeps accelerating away from us? Constant technological revolution makes planning difficult, and a society that stops planning for the future is likely to become a brittle society. Stewart Brand, Time, June 19, 2000 Keeping Up With the Pace of Change (An Argument for Scientific Literacy)

12 Implications of New Environment and Technologies (Lucas, Testimony, National Academy of Sciences) Familiar refrain – Our traditional concepts of warfare and its justification are outmoded – Existing laws of war and moral constraints regarding conventional combat are useless – Our conceptions of both must either be cast aside or radically reformulated Danger of threat inflation, exaggeration, hysteria Concepts of Just War and International Humanitarian Law remain valid – Must think hard and speak cogently about their meaning and application

13 (BGen (Ret) Richard OMeara)

14 National Security Research Types of Research – Basic – Advanced – Applied/Developmental Defense Department – Service Laboratories – DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) A special case Intelligence Agencies Department of Energy



17 IC Organization (Intelligence Community)

18 Central Intelligence Agency


20 An Important Note The Military and The Intelligence Agencies operate under different laws – Military: Title 10, United States Code – Intelligence: Title 50, United States Code And a different set of international norms However, ethical and moral boundaries still apply

21 [ Some military projects today ] Cyberweapons Cyborg insects Robots that eat Energy weapons Telepathic communication Quantum computing Submersible aircraft Exoskeletons Enhanced warfighters Dynamic armor Invisible shields and cloaks Accelerated therapeutics Real-time language translations Programmable matter 21Copyright 2011 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly

22 New Technologies for Discussion Soldier enhancements EM and Non-lethal Weapons Cyberwarfare Unmanned systems/robots Massive data mining and sensors

23 Example Types of Enhancements Pharmaceutical – Pilot Go pills (legal) – Steroid and other drug use in combat zones (not) Physical – Exoskeltons – Eye implants Neurological – Neural control (TransCranialMagneticStimulation) – Neuromodulation

24 [ Military enhancements ] Accelerated Learning Crystalline Cellulose Conversion to Glucose Education Dominance Enabling Stress Resistance Exoskeleton Neovision2 Neurotechnology for Intelligence Analysts Peak Soldier Performance (Metabolic Dominance) PowerSwim RealNose Synthetic Telepathy Wingsuit (Next-Gen Parachute System) Z-Man 24Copyright 2011 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly

25 Soldier Enhancement

26 NIA: Neurotechnology for Intelligence Analysts

27 Electromagnetic and Non-Lethal Weapons Lasers Radiofrequency Audio Odor Incapacitating agents

28 [ Less-than-lethal weapons ] Laser missiles Blinding weapons Pain rays and fences Sonic weapons Electric weapons Soft weapons Projectile netting Smelly weapons Other gas and sprays Copyright 2011 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly28

29 Cyber Defense Exploitation Attack Sabbotage

30 [ Military robotics ] Ground robots Aerial robots Marine robots Space robots Immobile/fixed robots Sentry robots Humanoid robots Chemical robots or blob-bots Biological-machine integrations or cyborgs 30Copyright 2011 © Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group @ Cal Poly

31 Unmanned Systems/Robots

32 Data Mining and Ubiquitous Sensors Credit cards EZ Pass Telephone records, location services Social media Movie rentals, downloads On-line activity of any kind Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) Cameras everywhere (ATM, traffic lights, license plate readers) Facial recognition systems And…?

33 Connected World=Big Data 7/25/2008Google passes 1 trillion URLs $187/secondCost of last Ebay outage 1 BillionPCs and Laptops 789.4 PBSize of YouTube 2/4/2011IPv4 address space exhausted 340x10 38 Size of IPv6 address space 100 million gigabytesSize of Googles index 144 millionNumber of Tweets per day 1.7 trillionItems in a startups DB 90PBFacebook data holdings 4.3 BillionMobile devices 6.9 billion people 700 million Facebook users 33

34 Data Fusion Big Data Problem Integrated Analytics Structured Data Images Foreign- language Text English- language Text Audio Sensor Data Video

35 Advantages of New Technologies Unmanned – Reduced risk to our warfighters Enhancements – Provide tactical advantage, reduce our risk Non-Lethal – Offer viable options in appropriate scenarios Cyber – Potentially reduce harm, physical damage Big Data Techniques – Better security, consumer choice and access

36 Possible Issues of New Technologies (Enhancement) Reversibility Altered levels of fear and aggression Enhancement in absence of effort Possibility of leakage into society, inequality Increased government regulation

37 Possible Issues of New Technologies (Cyberwarfare) Difficulty distinguishing between exploitation and attack Great opportunity for misperception Great cost and damage Possibility of non-state actors Difficulty in attribution and retaliation Possible indiscriminate or disproportionate retaliation

38 Possible Issues of New Technologies (Robotics/Unmanned systems) May lower the threshold for violence Perception by local populace of cowardice Danger of contractors applying lethal force Uncertainty and risk of using autonomous systems

39 Possible Issues of New Technologies (EM and Non-Lethal Systems) Instantaneous, zero-time-flight Reduced danger could increase potential for use Could embolden adversaries Non-lethality may encourage lax control of force application Undetectable harm may encourage use as punishment

40 Possible Issues of New Technologies (Data Mining and Ubiquitous Sensors) Re-definition of privacy – Unrealistic expectations? Information theft and nefarious use – Frequently occurs Medical/genetic information

41 Readings of Interest From Crossbow to H-Bomb, Bernard and Fawn M. Brodie, Indiana University Press, 1962 Science and Human Values, Jacob Bronowski, Harper and Row, 1956

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