Home » The swarm that we already are: Artificially Intelligent (AI) swarming ‘insect drones’, targeting and international humanitarian law in a posthuman ecology

The swarm that we already are: Artificially Intelligent (AI) swarming ‘insect drones’, targeting and international humanitarian law in a posthuman ecology

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Over the last fifty-odd years the US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has launched programs aiming at emulating and incorporating insect technologies in military technology. The US Army Unmanned Aircrafts Systems Roadmap 2010–2035 has specified insect swarming as a field of development for Unmanned Aviation Systems. While legal scholarship has paid substantial attention to drones, autonomous weapons systems and artificial intelligence (AI), developments based on insect swarming technologies have been largely ignored. This article takes emerging AI swarming technologies in military warfare systems as its starting point and asks about the significance of the swarming insect in and through contemporary International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and warfare. Taking up Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s notions of ‘the swarm’ and the ‘war machine’, and drawing on critical environmental legal scholarship, the article argues that rather than dispersing the human from its central position in the ‘targeting loop’, the increased interest in insects for commercial and warfare purposes is an intensification of transhumanist desires and an acceleration of late capitalism. As a counter-move, and as a contribution to a posthumanist turn in IHL, the article calls for becoming-insect, swarm and minoritarian as an epistemological practice and ontological shift in IHL and its critical scholarship, resulting in a posthumanitarian legal ordering of becoming.

Access further information on this document at academia.edu

This article was published outside of GRN Think Tank. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

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Arvidsson, Matilda

Arvidsson, Matilda

Matilda Arvidsson, BA, LLM, LLD, has studied law in Lund, Jerusalem and Khartoum. She completed her LLD in international law at the Faculty of Law, Lund University, from where she also holds a LLM in jurisprudence and a BA in political science. Her research interests are interdisciplinary and include law and theory, migration law, international and public law, humanitarian law, posthumanism and technology, artificial intelligence (AI), as well as the embodiment of law in its various forms and in inter-species relations. She has been invited to talk about her research in various institutions around the world, most recently at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia; Western Sydney University, Australia; Kent Law School, Canterbury, UK; La Trobe Law School, Melbourne, Australia; Melbourne Law School, Australia, Uppsala University and Copenhagen University. In 2019 she recived the Bernadotte program stipend from The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities. Topics Matilda has researched and published on include those mentioned above, focusing on the theory and history of international humanitarian law; posthumanist feminist theory, as well as AI and contemporary legal concerns. Matilda is Course Director for Migration Law, HRS282 (advanced level, 15hp) with Street Law within the Legal Clinic, and she teaches within the fields of international law, legal theory, constitutional law, migration law, and human rights studies, and she takes on thesis for supervision on masters and PhD levels within all fields of international law related to use of force and armed conflict, law and technology, feminism, posthumanism, critical theory, animal jurisprudence, and related topics. She has a background in legal practice and acts as a pro bono legal adviser. Matilda is a member of the LSA International Law and Policy Collaborative Research Network, and a Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) alumni. She reviews manuscripts and journal articles for a number of publishing houses and academic journals, including Oxford University Press, Routledge, Leiden Journal of International Law, the Australian Feminist Law Journal, and Griffith Law Review. Recent visiting research positions (a selection): 2018-19 Helsinki University Law School, Finland 2018-19 La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia 2017 Melbourne Law School, Australia Supervised Doctoral students: Karin Åberg, Dept of Law, University of Gothenburg Kristina Wejestål, Dept of Law, University of Gothenburg ORCHID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4398-6108 Matilda has two young children and worked part-time between 2009 and 2017.

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