Is now the time to ban lethal autonomous weapons systems?

17 April 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Design Studio, Level 5 Ainsworth Building, UNSW Kensington

One of the most controversial aspects of the rise of intelligent machines is the development of ‘lethal autonomous weapon systems’. But what impact will these 'killer robots' have on the way wars are fought? Can we retain some form of human control, is there any way to responsibly manage their risks and benefits? Or is now the time to ban killer robots?

Join: Scientia Professor Toby Walsh, UNSW's 'rockstar' expert on AI; Associate Professor Jessica Whyte, a philosopher seeking to illuminate the moral economy of contemporary warfare; and Matilda Byrne, a specialist in international security and disarmament.

This event will discuss the international movement to bring about a ban, why it exists and how it relates to the situation in Australia.


12.00pm - 12.45pm           Panel discussion

12.45pm - 1.00pm   Audience Q & A

1.00pm-1.30pm       Networking and refreshments

About the panel

Toby Walsh

Toby Walsh is one of the world’s leading experts in artificial intelligence, and has spent his life dreaming about and researching how machines might think. He is Scientia Professor of AI at UNSW and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. Toby is a passionate advocate for limits that ensure AI is used to improve, not hurt, our lives. He has written several books about Artifical Intelligence for a general audience including It’s Alive! Artificial Intelligence from the Logic Piano to Killer Robots, which was named by the New Statesman as one of its books of the year. Toby is a regular contributor to American Scientist, New Scientist and The Guardian.

Jessica Whyte

Associate Professor Jessica Whyte is a Scientia Fellow in the UNSW School of Humanities and Languages (Philosophy) and the School of Law, and an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow. She is a political theorist whose work integrates political philosophy, intellectual history and political economy to analyse contemporary forms of sovereignty, human rights, humanitarianism and militarism. She is currently working on a three-year Australian Research Council-funded project, “Inventing Collateral Damage: The Changing Moral Economy of War”.

Matilda Byrne

Matilda Byrne is the National Coordinator (Australia) for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, working towards a preemptive ban on lethal autonomous weapon systems. She is also Secretary of SafeGround Inc, an Australian NGO that conducts research and projects to reduce the impacts of legacy weapons in the Asia-Pacific. As well as disarmament, her interests include humanitarian intervention and the intersection of strategic defence policy and ethics.


Share this