April 5, 2017 - Lt. Colonel Alan Schuller Speaks on Autonomous Weapons Systems

On April 5, Lieutenant Colonel Alan L. Schuller of the U.S. Marine Corps, a Military Professor at the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law, spoke at Georgetown on the use of autonomous weapon systems and international humanitarian law.

Autonomous weapon systems (AWS) may be the most militarily significant yet legally elusive challenge to international humanitarian law since the proliferation of cyber operations. From a technological perspective, what does it mean for a machine to “decide” to kill? What unique problems, if any, are created when machines are programmed to “learn?” Are legacy weapon systems different in kind rather than degree of automation from reasonably foreseeable future AWS? 

Lieutenant Colonel Schuller currently serves as a Military Professor in the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. His article, Inimical Inceptions of Imminence: A New Approach to Anticipatory Self-Defense Under the Law of Armed Conflict, was recently published in the UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs. 

Lt. Col. Schuller appeared as part of Georgetown Law's Legal Studies Colloquium on Edge Technologies, a course taught by Professor Laura Donahue that focuses on new and emerging technologies that are transforming how we think about the law.

Lt. Col. Alan Schuller

Lt. Col. Alan Schuller