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Heather M. Roff, Nonresident Fellow, Foreign Policy, Security and Strategy, The Brookings Institution

Heather M. Roff

Nonresident Fellow, Security and Strategy - Foreign Policy

Heather M. Roff is a nonresident fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. Her research interests include the law, policy, and ethics of emerging military technologies, such as autonomous weapons, artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity, and more recently quantum, as well as international security and human rights protection. Her recent work focuses on generating normative principles for the use of AI for national defense, as well as particular epistemological issues with AI for defense related applications. She is author of “Global Justice, Kant and the Responsibility to Protect” (Routledge 2013), as well as numerous scholarly articles.

Roff received her doctorate in political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2010). She is currently a senior research analyst at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab (APL) in the National Security Analysis Department. Prior to joining APL, she was a senior research scientist at DeepMind, one of the leading artificial intelligence companies, in their ethics & society team. Prior to DeepMind, she was a senior research fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford; was a research scientist in the Global Security Initiative at Arizona State University; and held faculty positions at the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, the University of Waterloo, and the United States Air Force Academy. She has also held multiple fellowships at New America (2015-17).

She has provided expert testimony and advice regarding lethal autonomous weapons and artificial intelligence to the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense, the Canadian Department of National Defense, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Moreover, she has received funding awards from the Future of Life Foundation and the Canadian Department of National Defense for her work on meaningful human control, a concept generated with the disarmament NGO Article 36, that calls for structures and limits to the design, development, and deployment of autonomous technologies in armed conflict. “Meaningful human control” has sparked international attention from both scholars, practitioners, and industry.

She blogs for the Huffington Post, the Duck of Minerva, and has written for the Wired Magazine, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Slate, Defense One, the Wall Street Journal, the National Post, and the Globe and Mail. She is currently working on various projects related to the ethics of artificial intelligence for national security and defense.

Heather M. Roff is a nonresident fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. Her research interests include the law, policy, and ethics of emerging military technologies, such as autonomous weapons, artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity, and more recently quantum, as well as international security and human rights protection. Her recent work focuses on generating normative principles for the use of AI for national defense, as well as particular epistemological issues with AI for defense related applications. She is author of “Global Justice, Kant and the Responsibility to Protect” (Routledge 2013), as well as numerous scholarly articles.

Roff received her doctorate in political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2010). She is currently a senior research analyst at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab (APL) in the National Security Analysis Department. Prior to joining APL, she was a senior research scientist at DeepMind, one of the leading artificial intelligence companies, in their ethics & society team. Prior to DeepMind, she was a senior research fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford; was a research scientist in the Global Security Initiative at Arizona State University; and held faculty positions at the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, the University of Waterloo, and the United States Air Force Academy. She has also held multiple fellowships at New America (2015-17).

She has provided expert testimony and advice regarding lethal autonomous weapons and artificial intelligence to the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense, the Canadian Department of National Defense, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Moreover, she has received funding awards from the Future of Life Foundation and the Canadian Department of National Defense for her work on meaningful human control, a concept generated with the disarmament NGO Article 36, that calls for structures and limits to the design, development, and deployment of autonomous technologies in armed conflict. “Meaningful human control” has sparked international attention from both scholars, practitioners, and industry.

She blogs for the Huffington Post, the Duck of Minerva, and has written for the Wired Magazine, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Slate, Defense One, the Wall Street Journal, the National Post, and the Globe and Mail. She is currently working on various projects related to the ethics of artificial intelligence for national security and defense.

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