Understanding Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues Related to Emerging Technologies of Military Significance

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The Sam Nunn School Center for International Strategy, Technology, & Policy (CISTP) presents the Colonel Leslie Callahan Memorial Endowment Talk:  Dr. Herbert Lin, Chief Scientist, CSTB, National Research Council of the National Academies, "Understanding Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues Related to Emerging Technologies of Military Significance".

Developments in science and technology for military and national security use have often raised a variety of ethical, legal, and societal issues (ELSI).  These ELSI-related challenges are accentuated in a context of emerging and readily available (ERA) technologies, that is, new technologies that are accessible at relatively low cost and thus within the reach of less technologically-advanced nations, non-state actors, and even individuals.  Such technologies include information technology, synthetic biology, and neuroscience (which could be regarded as foundational technologies) and application domains such as cyber weapons, nonlethal weapons, robotics/autonomous systems, and prosthetics/human enhancement.  This talk will sketch out some of the issues involved in understanding ELSI issues in this context.

Reception following the talk.   Email fariah@gatech.edu to RSVP.

Dr. Herbert Lin is chief scientist at the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council of the National Academies, where he has been study director of major projects on public policy and information technology. These studies include a 1996 study on national cryptography policy (Cryptography's Role in Securing the Information Society), a 1991 study on the future of computer science (Computing the Future), a 1999 study of Defense Department systems for command, control, communications, computing, and intelligence (Realizing the Potential of C4I: Fundamental Challenges), a 2000 study on workforce issues in high-technology (Building a Workforce for the Information Economy), a 2002 study on protecting kids from Internet pornography and sexual exploitation (Youth, Pornography, and the Internet), a 2004 study on aspects of the FBI's information technology modernization program (A Review of the FBI's Trilogy IT Modernization Program), a 2005 study on electronic voting (Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting), a 2005 study on computational biology (Catalyzing Inquiry at the Interface of Computing and Biology), a 2007 study on privacy and information technology (Engaging Privacy and Information Technology in a Digital Age), a 2007 study on cybersecurity research (Toward a Safer and More Secure Cyberspace), a 2009 study on healthcare informatics (Computational Technology for Effective Health Care: Immediate Steps and Strategic Directions), a 2009 study on offensive information warfare (Technology, Policy, Law, and Ethics Regarding U.S. Acquisition and Use of Cyberattack Capabilities), and a 2010 study on cyber deterrence (Proceedings of a Workshop on Deterring Cyberattacks: Informing Strategies and Developing Options for U.S. Policy).

Prior to his NRC service, he was a professional staff member and staff scientist for the House Armed Services Committee (1986-1990), where his portfolio included defense policy and arms control issues. He received his doctorate in physics from MIT.


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