Amnesty calls on UN to ban ‘killer robots’

killer robot

Amnesty International called upon countries to ban fully autonomous weapons systems on Aug. 27, the first day of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems meeting in Geneva. Amnesty states that technology related to advanced weapons systems is outpacing international law. Future technologies may be able to replicate human responses, including "the ability to analyse the intentions behind people's actions, to assess and respond to often dynamic and unpredictable situations, or make complex decisions about the proportionality or necessity of an attack." A complete ban on fully autonomous weapons is necessary in order to avoid possible "dystopian" futures. Human interaction should be required by law to be involved in the identification, selection, and engagement of targets in advanced weapons.

Amnesty also stated concerns related to the use of fully autonomous weapons systems by law enforcement. Israel has already used a semi-autonomous drone to fire tear-gas at protesters. Amnesty stated that use of fully autonomous weapons systems in law enforcement is "incompatible with international human rights laws, and could lead to unlawful killings, injuries and other violations of human rights."

In an April meeting by the CCW, 26 countries called for a complete ban of fully autonomous weapons systems. However, some countries have opposed such laws, including France, Israel, Russia, South Korea, the US and the UK. The next CCW meeting is scheduled for November.

From Jurist, Aug. 27. Used with permission.

Note: Human rights groups have called for an international convention to ban killer robots. Killer robots are alrady being used in both warfare and in law enforcement. "Avatar robots" that can be remotely controlled by humans are also under development.

Photo: Future of Life Institute

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