Special Episode – Asymmetrical Haircuts presents Lethal Autonomous Weapons: 10 things we want to know

It’s here! A new baby is born. The people behind this new podcast – Lethal Autonomous Weapons: 10 things we want to know (you can tell they are researchers) – came over to us at Asymmetrical Haircuts to tell us all about it. And we are extra proud because we are the behind the scenes helpers – the midwives, if you like.

This new set of podcasts is available on their website here or – shortly – via your own podcast app. Do listen in as they roll out through the summer.

Who are they for? Really anyone who is curious about who can be held accountable when a drone or another kind of autonomous weapon gets used on the battlefield. With new software, new control systems, who makes the decisions? How does International Humanitarian Law catch up with these developments?

The whole series was put together by the LAWS and War Crimes research project team (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation) at Geneva’s Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. The team is lead by professor Paola Gaeta, along with Marta Bo, Abhimanyu George Jain, and Alessandra Spadaro. They picked experts in various disciplines (science, law, ethics, etc.) who have studied and written about lethal autonomous weapon systems or LAWS to interview. It’s a great multidisciplinary introduction to the challenges and problems raised by LAWS (or LAWS 1.0) to anyone who has an interest in this topic. And – as a bonus – they got to grill some of the big thinkers in their field.

Of course we asked the question we always ask; what are you reading, watching or listening to? In their recommendations Paola went for a modern television classic Downton Abbey while Marta went for a literary classic Walden or Life in the Woods by 19th century American author Henry David Thoreau. Staying with the classics Alessandra recommended Stephen Fry’s retelling of the Greek myths in Mythos. Abhi is reading a political satire of the EU with Robert Menasse’s book The Capital.