Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War



Paul Scharre, Center for a New American Security

Date and Time

April 30, 2019 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


Stanford University CEMEX Auditorium (655 Knight Way, Stanford, CA 94305)

Militaries around the world are racing to build robotic systems with increasing autonomy. What will happen when a Predator drone has as much autonomy as a Google car? Should machines be given the power to make life and death decisions in war? Paul Scharre, a former Army Ranger and Pentagon official, will talk on his new book, Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War. Army of None was named one of Bill Gates’ Top 5 Books of 2018. Scharre will explore the technology behind autonomous weapons and the legal, moral, ethical, and strategic dimensions of this evolving technology. Paul Scharre is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.   


Drell Lecture Recording:


Drell Lecture Transcript: NA


Paul's Biography: Paul Scharre is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is author of Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War. Mr. Scharre formerly worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) where he played a leading role in establishing policies on emerging weapons technologies. He led the working group that drafted DOD Directive 3000.09, establishing DOD’s policy on autonomy in weapon systems. He is a former infantryman in the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment and completed multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.


Radha's Biography: Radha Iyengar is the head of Product Policy Research at Facebook and an adjunct economist at the RAND Corporation. Previously, she served in senior staff positions at the White House National Security Council, Department of Defense, and Department of Energy. Over the course of her government service, she was instrumental in executive actions on sexual assault and suicide prevention, budget and policy related to nuclear and energy infrastructure security and resilience, and security assistance and counterterrorism efforts in the the Middle East and North Africa. Her research has covered empirical evaluations of policies aimed at reducing violence including criminal violence, sexual assault, terrorist behavior, and sexual and intimate partner violence. 


Jeremy's Biography: Jeremy is a Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. His research focuses on civil wars and political violence; ethnic politics and the political economy of development; and democracy, accountability, and political change. He is the author of Inside Rebellion: The Politics of Insurgent Violence (Cambridge University Press), which received the William Riker Prize for the best book on political economy. He is also the co-author of Coethnicity: Diversity and the Dilemmas of Collective Action (Russell Sage Foundation), which received the Gregory Luebbert Award for the best book in comparative politics. He has published articles in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Annual Review of Political Science, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Journal of Democracy, World Policy Journal, and the SAIS Review.






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