lethal autonomous weapons on trial: the future is in your hands

The manufacture and deployment of lethal autonomous weapons (LAWS) is unregulated and is a system that isn’t limited to the battlefield nor to professional armies – it is out of control both in terms of who makes and deploys them, and who is targeted. In a new conflict landscape where AI is in command, where does accountability rest when AI has decision-making control and innocent lives are lost?

In a forest setting next to a gritty urban landscape, a young orienteering group is misidentified and “taken out,” by lethal autonomous weapons of the Australian Defence Force (via the Defence Cooperation Program with South Pacific nations). The case is taken to the Australian supreme court, where real-life expert witnesses deliver testimony to the audience-as-jury. At the crossroads between what is legal and what is right, with no guide but history, prepare to deliberate who, or what, is responsible. The regulation, legalities and ethics that surround artificial intelligence (AI) are not mutually exclusive; and yet they are developing at disparate rates. Autonomous weapons, the progeny of AI and robotics, are being developed and actioned in real time and are intended to drive battlefield efficacies, but at what cost? Opponents of these new weapons systems argue that they are incapable of making meaningful decisions and threaten a robotics arms race potentially more destabilising than the nuclear arms race we have been living through for the past 76 years.

The audience must work as a jury, informed by real-life experts and moderated by a judge (actor). 

It is geared for two platforms: traditional streaming and theatrical, and gaming (VR and Holoscribe)

Look to Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch for the interactive streaming functions. The gamified version will have deeper interactivity and contact with other jurors.

We intend to bring this to the UN to continue the movement to regulate LAWS, and to the general public via streaming, gaming and installation (museum, gallery, schools, etc.)