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Security by Remote Control: Automation and Autonomy in Robot Weapon Systems

Date: 22 May 2014 Time: TBC

Venue: Lancaster University

Symposium co-sponsored by Security Lancaster, the Lancaster Centre for Science Studies

and the Centre for International Law and Human Rights

organised by Karolina Follis, PPR/Security Lancaster, k.follis@lancaster.ac.uk and

Lucy Suchman, Centre for Science Studies/Sociology,l.suchman@lancaster.ac.uk

Despite investment in new technologies, the legitimacy and efficacy of actions taken in the name of security is increasingly in question. In April of 2013 a coalition led by Human Rights Watch initiated a campaign in favour of a legally binding prohibition on the development, production and use of fully autonomous weapon systems. Simultaneously, some military and robotics experts argue that equipping robots with the capacity to make ethical judgments is an achievable technological goal. Within these debates, the 'human in the loop' is posited alternately as the safeguard against illegitimate killing, or its source. Implicit across the debate is the premise of a moment of decision in which judgements of identification and appropriate response are made. This symposium will focus on on the troubling space between automation and autonomy, to understand more deeply their intimate relations, and the inherent contradictions that conjoin them.

For more information and registration details see


Event website: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/securitybyremotecontrol/


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Politics, Philosophy and Religion PPR


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