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The Lawfare Podcast

Governing the Use of Autonomous Weapons and AI in Warfare with Lauren Kahn

Following Hamas’s attacks on Oct. 7, the Israeli military retaliated with a relentless and devastating air war. By mid-December, Israeli forces had struck more than 22,000 targets in Gaza, and the Israeli military said it had used artificial intelligence to select many of them. The targeting system, called “The Gospel” by the IDF, was not the first time a military used AI on the battlefield, but the high number of civilian casualties raised red flags for many.

Lawfare Managing Editor Tyler McBrien sat down with Lauren Kahn, a Senior Research Analyst at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) who focuses on the national security applications of artificial intelligence. They discussed how autonomous and AI-enabled weapons are being used and will be used in war, “the current ground rules for the age of AI in warfare,” and why Lauren favors confidence-building measures and other incremental steps, rather than an all-out ban. And despite running through a few nightmare scenarios, we learned why Lauren remains hopeful for the responsible and ethical use of AI for defense.  

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