Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Nobel Peace Laureate to speak at Centenary

SHREVEPORT, LA — Nobel Peace Laureate, author of acclaimed memoir My Name is Jody Williams, and Principal Spokesperson for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, Jody Williams will visit Centenary Monday, September 9, to speak on the new international campaign to ban fully autonomous robots. A book signing of her memoir will follow her presentation.

My Name Is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl's Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize by Jody Williams
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What: Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams speaking on the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots at convocation and book signing of Williams' memoir following the presentation
When: Monday, September 9, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.
Where: Whited Room, Bynum Commons, Centenary College

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is working to create the international political consciousness needed to develop a preemptive ban on the development, production, and use of fully autonomous robots. These weapons would employ drone technology without human intervention. Robots would be deployed into conflict zones with pre-programmed computer systems designed to make life and death decisions. The campaign is concerned with moral and ethical implications of such technology.

Over the past decade, the expanded use of drones has dramatically changed warfare, bringing new humanitarian and legal challenges. Now rapid advances in technology are permitting the United States and other nations with high-tech militaries, including China, Israel, Russia, and the United Kingdom, to move toward systems that would give full combat autonomy to machines.

"Allowing life or death decisions on the battlefield to be made by machines crosses a fundamental moral line and represents an unacceptable application of technology," said Williams. "Human control of autonomous weapons is essential to protect humanity from a new method of warfare that should never be allowed to come into existence."

Williams received the Nobel Prize for launching an international campaign against landmines. She is the recipient of fifteen honorary degrees, among other recognitions. Since 2006 she has been chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative. She was named by Forbes magazine as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world. Williams holds the Sam and Cele Keeper Endowed Professorship in Peace and Social Justice at the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston. In 2012-2013, she became the inaugural Jane Addams Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Social Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Centenary's World House for Peace, one of three common residences on campus with a common purpose, is hosting Williams. Williams will meet with faculty, staff, students and several community members later in the afternoon for a more in-depth discussion of the movement.
For more information about the campaign, visit www.stopkillerrobots.org.

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