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Lender Fellows Research the Impact of AI-Controlled Weapons

June 13, 2023

SU News

Anthropology Professor Mona Bhan is leading the team of student researchers

Mona Bhan

In the current 2022–24 Lender Center for Social Justice Fellowship Project, a group of students is investigating how AI-controlled weapons transform war and surveillance. Directed by anthropology professor Mona Bhan, the project team includes three Maxwell students: Aren Burnside, who earned dual bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and philosophy in 2020 and is now working on his doctorate in anthropology; and rising juniors Nadia Lyngdoh-Sommer, a sociology major, and Anna Terzaghi, who is majoring in anthropology and international relations.

Lyngdoh-Sommer’s interest in the area is fueled by her background. Growing up in Singapore, she witnessed how the country uses AI technology to police and surveil its citizens. She and her research counterparts say the fellowship has provided an introduction to the field of how AI weapons systems transform war and surveillance activities and accentuate the social and political vulnerabilities of humans to violence.

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By John Boccacino

Published in the Spring 2023 issue of the Maxwell Perspective

Group of people sitting at table in front of tv screen

Amid the rapid rise of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, Maxwell scholars are gathering critical data, designing policy and informing future leaders.

Two racecars from behind

The four-week program is being offered by Orange Works with support from ASPI and the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Travis Mason headshot

His background in autonomous flight systems includes work with Airbus and Google.

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