DISCUSSING AI, AUTOMATED SYSTEMS AND THE FUTURE OF WAR SEMINAR SERIES

This seminar series is part of a two-year (2023-2025) research project on Anticipating the Future of War: AI, Automated Systems, and Resort-to-Force Decision Making, generously funded by the Australian Department of Defence and led by Professor Toni Erskine from the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.

How should states balance the benefits and risks of employing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in nuclear command and control systems? Dr Ben Zala will argue that it is only by placing developments in AI against the larger backdrop of the increasing prominence of a much wider set of strategic non-nuclear capabilities that this question can be adequately addressed. In order to do so, he will make the case for disaggregating the different risks that AI poses to stability as well as examine the specific ways in which it may instead be harnessed to restabilise nuclear-armed relationships. Dr Zala will also identify a number of policy areas that ought to be prioritised by way of mitigating the risks and harnessing the opportunities identified in the short-medium term. 
 

About the speaker
Ben Zala is a Fellow in the Department of International Relations, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at ANU. His work focuses on the politics of the great powers and the management of nuclear weapons. He has been a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at Harvard University and is currently an Honorary Fellow at the University of Leicester, UK contributing to the Third Nuclear Age project (https://thethirdnuclearage.com/).


About the chair
Toni Erskine is Professor of International Politics in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University (ANU), and Associate Fellow of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at Cambridge University. She is Chief Investigator of the Defence-funded 'Anticipating the Future of War: AI, Automated Systems, and Resort-to-Force Decision Making' Research Project and a Chief Investigator and Founding Member of the 'Humanising Machine Intelligence' Grand Challenge at ANU.


If you require accessibility accommodations or a visitor Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan please contact bell.marketing@anu.edu.au.

Discussing AI, Automated Systems, and the Future of War Seminar Series

Experts agree that future warfare will be characterized by countries’ use of military technologies enhanced with Artificial Intelligence (AI). These AI-enhanced capabilities are thought to help countries maintain lethal overmatch of adversaries, especially when used in concert with humans. Yet it is unclear what shapes servicemembers’ trust in human-machine teaming, wherein they partner with AI-enhanced military technologies to optimize battlefield performance. In October 2023, Dr Lushenko administered a conjoint survey at the US Army and Naval War Colleges to assess how varying features of AI-enhanced military technologies shape servicemembers’ trust in human-machine teaming. He finds that trust in AI-enhanced military technologies is shaped by a tightly calibrated set of considerations including technical specifications, namely their non-lethal purpose, heightened precision, and human oversight; perceived effectiveness in terms of civilian protection, force protection, and mission accomplishment; and, international oversight. These results provide the first experimental evidence of military attitudes for manned-unmanned teams, which have research, policy, and modernization implications.


About the speaker
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Lushenko,
 PhD is an Assistant Professor and Director of Special Operations at the US Army War College. In addition, he is a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member, Senior Fellow at Cornell University's Tech Policy Institute, Non-Resident Expert at RegulatingAI, and Adjunct Research Lecturer at Charles Sturt University. He is the co-editor of Drones and Global Order: Implications of Remote Warfare for International Society (2022), which is the first book to systematically study the implications of drone warfare on global politics. He is also the co-author of The Legitimacy of Drone Warfare: Evaluating Public Perceptions (2024), which examines public perceptions of the legitimacy of drones and how this affects countries’ policies on and the global governance of drone warfare.

About the chair
Emily Hitchman is the Research Officer on the Anticipating the Future of War: AI, Automated Systems, and Resort-to-Force Decision Making project. Emily is a PhD scholar at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre focussing on the history of the Glomar (‘neither confirm nor deny’) response in the national security context. She is also a 2023 Sir Roland Wilson Scholar, and has appeared on the National Security Podcast speaking about her research, and as a panellist at the 2022 Australian Crisis Simulation Summit speaking about the future of intelligence. Emily has worked professionally across the national security and criminal justice public policy space, including in law enforcement and cyber policy, and holds a Bachelor of Philosophy from The Australian National University.

This seminar series is part of a two-year (2023-2025) research project on Anticipating the Future of War: AI, Automated Systems, and Resort-to-Force Decision Making, generously funded by the Australian Department of Defence and led by Professor Toni Erskine from the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.


If you require accessibility accommodations or a visitor Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan please contact bell.marketing@anu.edu.au.

Please join PhD candidate Ms Leituala Kuiniselani Tago-Elisara as she provides an update during her research journey.

Leituala Kuiniselani Tago-Elisara’s doctoral research re-examines the Boe Declaration and security in the Pacific. It explores the application of the conceptual framework, A Malu i Fale e Malu i Fafo, and an indigenous methodology embedded in Pacific philosophies and epistemologies. The seminar will explore how using indigenous framing can help to decolonise a regional security framework that is relevant, responsive and resonates with Pacific people. This seminar will also highlight the challenges and practicalities facing researchers when conducting security studies research in the Pacific region. This mid-term review seminar will include reflections upon fieldwork, ahead of the data analysis and thesis write-up processes. Using examples from Fiji, Kiribati and Samoa, some key lessons and observations will be shared that may be of benefit to other scholars and researchers.

Event Speakers

Ms Leituala Kuiniselani Tago-Elisara
PhD Scholar

Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago commenced her PhD with DPA in 2020. She is a regional public servant with extensive leadership experience in the Pacific region.

Please join PhD candidate Athaulla Rasheed as he presents his pre-submission seminar.

Please note that this is a hybrid event. For online attendance please sign up to obtain the Zoom link. Access link will be delivered via email upon registration.

This research investigates Small Island Developing States’ (SIDS) discursive formation of national and foreign policy on climate change as a security concern. It recognises SIDS have played an important role in promoting comprehensive approaches to climate security at the UN Security Council debates. While the Security Council has stayed away from fully securitising climate change, this thesis presents a conceptual/methodological framework to explain the domestic construction of climate security by SIDS, based on the experiences of Maldives and Samoa.

In this final seminar, Athaulla Rasheed will argue that SIDS’ advocacy for broader meanings of security is important for the Security Council’s climate debates or securitising climate at the international level. In adopting a constructivist approach to international relations and security studies, this research identifies, analyses, and explains the discourses and identities constitutive of policy narratives that have shaped the climate threat identification and problem-solving approaches adopted in Maldives and Samoa. The Maldives and Samoa’s cases asserted that SIDS become important stakeholders in developing intersubjective narratives to incorporate more holistic and comprehensive aspects of problem-solving into the international peace and security discourse concerning climate change.

Event Speakers

Athaulla Rasheed
PhD Scholar

Athaulla Rasheed is originally from Maldives.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a hybrid event and will take place in-person as well as on Zoom.

Criminal deportations to the Pacific have increased significantly over the last decade. In this final presentation prior to submitting her PhD, Henrietta McNeill provides an examination of deportations to Tonga, Samoa and Cook Islands. She tracks securitisation throughout the deportation process, including in the country and society of citizenship. In doing so, she draws attention to the challenges that deported people face on their return, the reintegration models in place to support them, and the language which shapes this return. Deportations have been raised at the Pacific regional level, enabling an ongoing and pervasive influence on securitisation by deporting states, but also an opportunity for Pacific states to use securitisation as a tool of agency and empowerment to encourage deporting states to take responsibility for their role in deportations.

Event Speakers

Henrietta McNeill

Henrietta McNeill

Henrietta McNeill commenced her PhD candidature with the Department of Pacific Affairs in 2020. Her research interests are criminal deportations to the Pacific Islands, security cooperation on transnational crime, and Pacific geopolitics. She has worked widely across the Pacific region, with a particular interest in Polynesia.

Does international affairs fascinate you? Gaining insights from industry representatives can help you clarify your career aspirations and make informed choices.

ANU Careers and the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs warmly invite International Relations, Diplomacy, Security Studies, Pacific Studies, and Political Science students to attend the upcoming panel discussion on future careers and meet potential employers. This is an opportunity to hear from a range of organisations (private sector, consulting, the UN and the Australian Government) so that you can better understand the job market and help you plan ahead for your career after study.

The speakers for the panel are:

*David Brown - Operations Manager at Systems Planning and Analysis

*Louisa Minney - Director in Advisory at PwC

*Maria Shumusti- Communications Officer at World Food Program (WFP), Fiji office; and

*A representative from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Agency

Gain insights from the speakers on what their organisations do and opportunities they offer students.

The ANU Careers team will also discuss how to find information about the job market and job search strategies including how to understand job advertisements.

Event Speakers

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Louisa Minney

Louisa is an experienced senior executive with over 20 years’ experience in facilitating strategic change across government, multi and bi-lateral organisations and academia in Australia and internationally.

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David Brown

David joined SPA Australia following a 24-year career as a Weapons Engineer with the Navy. David served on submarines and warships. His shore postings in capability development stimulated his interest in using operations research to provide mission-focussed, evidence-based decision support for complex and critical topics.

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Maria Shumusti

Maria finished a Master's in International Relations at ANU in 2020. Maria oversees the communications and media for WFP in the Pacific. She is currently running the Donate Responsibly campaign that informs people about why during disasters, not all goodwill does well and highlight effective and responsible ways to donate.

To welcome our new students and kick-off the new semester, please join us for our first Bell School ‘In conversation’ event with three practitioners across the disciplines of international affairs, security studies and Asia-Pacific politics.

Moderated by Professor Paul Hutchcroft from our Department of Political and Social Change, our speakers will share their perspectives on the importance of studying these disciplines in the context of today’s world, the importance of Asia and the Pacific region to Australia, their personal stories and advice on career paths.

This event is an opportunity for students to make new connections, expand their network, and learn about potential career paths.

Event Speakers

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Ridwaan Jadwat

Ridwaan Jadwat is First Assistant Secretary, Southeast Asia Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and has held the role of Australia’s Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation since December 2018.

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Celia Perkins

Celia is Deputy Secretary Security and Estate Department of Defence (Formerly First Assistant Secretary Strategic Policy 2019-2021) and ANU alumna.

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Fiona Terry

Fiona is Head of the Centre for Operational Research at International Committee of the Red Cross(ICRC) in Geneva and PhD alumna from the ANU Department of International Relations.