Honouarble Mention: New technology, same old strategy: Why artificial superintelligence represents the logical continuation of the US quest for war virtuousness

Gabriel Boulianne Gobeil


Today’s military drones permit an extreme separation between rivals. Along with these weapons comes James Der Derian’s concept of virtuous war, which encapsulates a certain normative view of current and future wars. A rationale of the actors waging these wars is that violence is used in a cleaner way, resulting in ever fewer casualties. I argue that the next step in the progression of military weaponry is the inclusion of artificial superintelligence (ASI). I begin this article by examining certain components that will likely compose ASI. I then use a combination of virtuous war and jus in bello to trace the development of automated weaponry and the conduct of war from afar that characterizes the American ways of war. Finally, I take that trend to a point where virtuous war will reach what could be seen as its logical culmination, namely when ASI is blended into its ways of war.

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JMSS is a publication of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

JMSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.