Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Killer Robots

Human Rights Watch has released a report saying that a growing number of countries have shown a desire for a new international treaty against fully autonomous weapons. It says 30 countries explicitly seek a ban. From 2014 to 2019, countries have participated in several meetings of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW).

The report titled, "Stopping Killer Robots: Country Positions on Banning Fully Autonomous Weapons and Retaining Human Control," says that a growing number of countries are now recognizing the need to save humanity from these "killer robots" that are also categorized as lethal autonomous weapons systems. Since 2013, a coalition of HRW and more than 160 other NGOs has been at the helm of the 'Campaign to Stop Killer Robots', that seeks to pre-emptively ban fully autonomous weapons.

"Removing human control from the use of force is now widely regarded as a grave threat to humanity that, like climate change, deserves urgent multilateral action," Mary Wareham, coordinator of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and arms division advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement published by HRW. "An international ban treaty is the only effective way to deal with the serious challenges raised by fully autonomous weapons," Wareham said.

HRW said that military giants such as Russia and the United States have blocked progress towards regulation while also investing majorly in the use of artificial intelligence for military purposes and developing land, sea and air-based autonomous weapons systems.


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