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February 24, 2020 92 min

Should Artificial Intelligence be able to make the decision to take a human life? And if it does, who will be liable if — or when — it goes wrong? When it comes to the future of war and technology, the ethics are murky.


Tech is creating a new arms race. Will the U.S. be able to keep up with the likes of China and Russia? And what ethical lines will we draw, or cross, to maintain our national defenses?


Let’s rewind to Orange County circa 2017: A handful of entrepreneurs — eating Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell — sat around a table exploring the idea that what the United States needs is a real-life version of Stark Industries. Yes... from Iron Man. That brainstorming session led to Anduril — a defense technology firm that’s since become a billion dollar company at the center of the debate around the future of war.


Laurie Segall sat down with Anduril’s co-founder, Trae Stephens, who spends a lot of time thinking about the philosophy of war and how technology is transforming it. In this episode of First Contact, we explore a framework for redefining war — where the front lines of futuristic battlefields are blurred, and technology is leading the charge. Expect rigorous debate. Unpopular viewpoints. And uncomfortable scenarios.

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