Laura Nolan – TEDxLiverpool

Laura Nolan

Laura Nolan

Anti-Autonomous Weapons Campaigner

Laura Nolan has been a software engineer in industry for over 15 years, including over five years at Google. She was one of the (many) signatories of the “cancel Maven” open letter, which called for Google to cancel its involvement in the US DoD’s project to use artificial intelligence technology to analyse drone surveillance footage. She campaigned within Google against Project Maven, before leaving the company in protest against it in 2018 and joining the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC). She is also a member of Tech Inquiry, a non-profit organisation that aims to give technologists a voice in policymaking.

Laura holds an MSc in Advanced Software Engineering from University College and a BA(Mod) in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin. She is currently studying for an MA in Ethics at Dublin City University. Laura is also a contributor to two best-selling technology books (“Seeking SRE” and “Site Reliability Engineering”, both published by O’Reilly), is a member of the SREcon conference steering committee and writes a regular column for USENIX ;login: magazine dealing with distributed systems reliability issues.


Laura’s TEDx Talk 

Why We Must Ban Killer Robots?

Nations around the world are fast developing autonomous weapons, which have the ability to select their own targets. You may well be thinking of the Terminator movie series, with its Skynet superintelligence becoming aware and rising up against humanity – but this is not the problem that most campaigners worry about. We worry that these weapons will be too primitive to comply with the laws of armed conflict, and that they will change the politics of warfare. Join Laura for an exploration of the technical, ethical, legal and political arguments against killer robots.

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