Schedule with Required Readings

Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 


8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Registration & Breakfast - Silverman 147

9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Welcome Remarks:
Dean Wendell Pritchett, Interim Dean, Penn Law
Bill Burke-White, Director of the Perry World House

9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Session 1 – Human Morality and the Problem of Intelligent Machines

Silverman 147
Moderator: Claire Finkelstein

  1. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Introduction, ed. Curley pp. 3 – 5
  2. John Searle, Minds, Brains, and Programs, 3 The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 417 (1980).
  3. Ronald Arkin, Lethal Autonomous Systems and the Plight of the Non-Combatant,1 AISB Quarterly 137 (2013)
  4. Colin Allen, Wendell Wallach
    Framing Robot Arms Control, 15 Ethics and Information Technology 125 (2013)

10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.


11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Session 2 – The Law and Ethics of Autonomous Weapons Systems

Silverman 147
Moderator: Jens Ohlin

  1. Kenneth Anderson & Matthew Waxman, Law and Ethics for Autonomous Weapons Systems: Why a Ban Won’t Work and How the Laws of War Can,Policy Review (Excerpt, pp 8-18)
  2. Mary Ellen O’Connell, Banning Autonomous Killing-The Legal and Ethical Requirement That Humans Make Near-Time Lethal Decisions, in The American Way of Bombing Changing Ethical and Legal Norms from Flying Fortresses to Drones(Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue editors, 2014) (Excerpted) 
  3. Keith Abney, George Bekey, and Patrick Lin, Autonomous Military Robotics: Risk, Ethics, and Design, Cal Poly (2008) (Excerpt, pp 77-90)
  4. Michael W. Lewis, Legal Issues in the Development of Autonomous Weapons  Abstract | Paper
  5. U.S. Department of Defense Directive 3000.09 Autonomy in Weapon Systems (2012)
  6. Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions (Article 1 par. 2, Article 36)

12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. 

LunchSilverman 245, Levy Conference Room
Lunch Address: VJ Kumar

1:45 p.m.

Walk to Van Pelt Library, 3420 Walnut Street, for final session, keynote address, cocktail hour and dinner

2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Session 3 – The Rationality and Morality of Automaticity

Meyerson Conference Room, Van Pelt Library, 2nd Floor
Moderator: Duncan MacIntosh

  1. Duncan MacIntosh, Firing, Forgetting and How Rule-of-Law Values Require Automation of the Rule of Law; A Defense of the Use of Autonomous Weapons Systems in War and Peace Abstract
  2. Gregory Kavka, The Toxin Puzzle, Analysis, Vol. 43, No.1 (1983), pp.33-36
  3. David Gauthier, Assure and Threaten, Ethics, Vol. 104, No.4 (1994), pp.690-721
  4. Claire Finkelstein,  Acting on an Intention, in REASON, INTENTION AND MORALITY  (Gijs Van Donselaar & Bruno Verbeek eds., Ashgate Publishing, 2008) (Excerpt 67-77)
  5. Larry Alexander, The Doomsday Machine: Proportionality, Punishment and Prevention, 63.2 The Monist 199 (1980)

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Keynote Panel - Should Killer Robots be Banned?
The Class of 78 Pavilion, Van Pelt Library, 6th Floor
Moderator: Bill Burke-White, Director, Perry World House
Major General (ret.) Robert LatiffUniversity of Notre Dame 
Wendell Wallach, Yale University
Charles A. Blanchard, Arnold & Porter, LLP; former General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer for the U.S. Air Force

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Cocktail Reception – Moelis Terrace, Van Pelt Library, 6th Floor

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Dinner -   Seminar Rooms, Van Pelt Library , 6th Floor 

Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014


8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Breakfast - Silverman 147

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Session 4 – Uniquely Human? On Intuition, Mercy and Moral Decision Making

Silverman 147
Moderator: Sharon Lloyd

  1. M. L. Cummings, The Human Role in Autonomous Weapon Design and Deployment  Abstract | Paper
  2. Martha Nussbaum, Equity and Mercy, 22.2 Philosophy and Public Affairs 83 (1993) (Excerpt, pp 83-92)
  3. Human Rights Watch, Shaking The Foundations: The Human Rights Implications of Killer Robots (Excerpt pp 5-16, 23-24)
  4. Matthias Scheutz & Bertram Malle, May Machines Take Lives to Save Lives? Human Perceptions of Autonomous Robots (with the Capacity to Kill)  Abstract

10:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.


11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Session 5 – On the Concept of Meaningful Human Control

Silverman 147
Michael Horowitz 

  1. Peter M. Asaro, Jus nascendi, Robotic Weapons & the Martens Clause  Abstract | Paper
  2. Noel Sharkey, The Human Control of Weapons: a humanitarian perspective (Draft of chapter to appear in “Autonomous Weapons Systems: Law, Ethics, Policy” edited by Nehal Bhuta, Susanne Beck, Robin Geiss, Claus Kress and Hin Yan Liu.) Abstract | Paper
  3. Peter Asaro, On Banning Autonomous Weapon Systems: Human Rights, Automation, and the Dehumanization of Lethal Decision-Making, in Ethics of 21st Century Military Conflict 257-269 (Erica L. Gaston & Patti Tamara Lenard eds. 2012). (Excerpt, pp 694-703)
  4. Shane Harris, Out of the Loop: The Human-free Future of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, in Harris, edited by Peter Berkowitz, Hoover Institution, 2012. (Excerpt, pp 1-5, 9-12)

12:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Lunch – Silverman 245, Levy Conference Room
Lunch Address: Noel Sharkey

2:15 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Session 6 – Responsibility for Acts of Intelligent Machines

Silverman 147
Moderator: Kenneth Anderson


  1. Jens David Ohlin, Machine Liability & the Combatant’s Stance Abstract | Paper
  2. Daniel Dennet, When HAL Kills, Who’s to Blame?, in Hal’s Legacy: 2001’s Computer as Dream and Reality 351-365 (David Stork ed. 1997).
  3. Deborah G. Johnson, “Technology with No Human Responsibility?” J Bus Ethics (2014)