John R. Emery is a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at Stanford University in the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). His research interests include ethics of war, historical nuclear wargaming, technology and national security, as well as the impact of quantification and abstraction on ethical decision-making. Current projects are based on archival research at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA exploring early nuclear wargaming in the 1950s and how notions of social science and deterrence theory were contested between wargaming as art or science. Specifically, this concrete historical case of new technologies of war and improving methodologies offer key insights into contemporary dilemmas of military AI today.

He was formerly a Tobis Fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality at University of California, Irvine. There, he explored the rise of collateral damage estimation algorithms in the U.S. Air Force, and how socio-technical interactions impact ethics of due care in war. Previous work on drones, ethics, counter-terrorism, and just war is published in Critical Military Studies, Ethics & International Affairs, and Peace Review. In 2017-2018 he was awarded the NSF-funded Technology, Law and Society Fellowship to undertake an interdisciplinary study of the impact of AI, Big Data, and blockchain on law and society scholarship. John R. Emery holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from University of California, Irvine and a B.A. in international studies from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.

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