‘Killer Robots’ Threat Persists as US Unwilling to Discuss Ban on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems
16:14 GMT 04.12.2021 (Updated: 20:11 GMT 19.10.2022)
© Photo : PixabayKiller robot
© Photo : Pixabay
Since 2017, the UN has been hosting diplomatic talks in Geneva to clinch an international accord on how to resolve the issue of using “killer robots”.
The US has turned down calls for a deal aimed at regulating or banning the use of lethal autonomous weapons systems, also known as “killer robots”.
“In our view, the best way to make progress [….] would be through the development of a non-binding code of conduct [at the UN]”, US State Department official Josh Dorosin was cited by The Guardian as saying during a Geneva meeting on Friday.
The Friday gathering was attended by government experts from all across the world to prepare for high-level talks at a review conference on the Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons scheduled for 13-17 December.
The US official reportedly added that the proposed code of conduct “would help states promote responsible behaviour and compliance with international law”.
The remarks came after Clare Conboy of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots referred to the upcoming UN talks, arguing that “states have a historic opportunity to ensure meaningful human control over the use of force and prevent a world in which machines make life and death decisions”.
Bonnie Docherty, a senior arms researcher at Human Rights Watch, in turn, insisted in a statement that “an independent process to negotiate new law on killer robots would be more effective and inclusive than the current diplomatic talks”.
Earlier, at least 30 countries called for a total global ban on killer robots, which are typically regarded as distinct from drones and are capable of destroying targets without human input.
In a separate development, 160 organisations and 2,460 individuals, including Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, signed on to a pledge from the non-profit organisation Future of Life Institute, promising not to engage in the development of lethal autonomous weapons.
“Thousands of AI researchers agree that by removing the risk, attributability, and difficulty of taking human lives, lethal autonomous weapons could become powerful instruments of violence and oppression, especially when linked to surveillance and data systems”, the document pointed out