Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War

Paul Scharre. Norton, $27.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-393-60898-4
This important book illuminates what may be a fundamental change in the nature of war: the possibility of a future in which the majority of the fighting is done by autonomous weapons powered by artificial intelligence. Unlike drones, these machines make lethal decisions without a human “in the loop.” Scharre is an expert in the field, having served as a DoD analyst responsible for the U.S. policy regarding autonomous weapon systems (“Spoiler alert: it doesn’t ban them”). He talks to other experts, witnesses demonstrations, and analyzes historical examples to inform this exploration of current weapons (such as the capabilities of the Aegis ballistic missile defense system, which can rapidly shoot down ballistic missiles) and the ethical challenges surrounding autonomous weapons, including reliance on fallible tools (such as those of the Patriot air defense systems, which caused friendly fire incidents among U.S. aircraft in Iraq) and the likelihood of an arms race spurring investment in ethically questionable technology. This excellent primer is of interest to the general reader and a must-read for those who have a professional interest in military topics but are not up to speed on AI and robotics. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2018
Release date: 04/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-393-60899-1
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-987144-19-2
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-393-35658-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-5414-6968-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-5414-1968-1
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