Watchdogs Urge to Ban ‘Killer Robots’

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States must prohibit the development, production, and use of fully autonomous weapons, or "killer robots," the existence of which raises serious legal, moral and ethical concerns, according to a report published by watchdogs on Thursday.

After an exercise in the Gulf of Mexico, the US Air Force said that an armed Reaper drone demonstrated that it can hit maritime targets in coordination with other aircrafts, including A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-35A Lightning IIs. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The joint report by Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic was released ahead of the mid-April UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems in Geneva.

“A variety of legal obstacles make it likely that humans associated with the use or production of these weapons — notably operators and commanders, programmers and manufacturers — would escape liability for the suffering caused by fully autonomous weapons,” watchdogs warned.

The report provides as an example the United States, a leader in the development of autonomous technology, because US military and US defense contractors are granted wide immunity from lawsuits.

The report questioned the moral aspects of autonomous weapons since it results in a machine making the lethal decision to kill a human being.

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The popular concept of "killer robots" represents a technological leap beyond remote-controlled drones, currently actively used by the US military.

The United States has carried out more than 500 lethal live-fire drone strikes since 2001, killing an estimated 3,674 militants and 473 civilians, according to the US Council on Foreign Relations.

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