10:30 GMT02 April 2020
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    The co-founder of CODEPINK anti-war group claims that the usage of lethal fully autonomous weapons will not be humane as the experience with ordinary controlled UAVs shows.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov — The usage of lethal fully autonomous weapons will not be humane as the experience with ordinary controlled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) shows, the co-founder of CODEPINK anti-war group told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    More than 40 analysts and campaigners from a dozen of countries are currently in Geneva seeking to work out the technical and legal aspects to the production of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS).

    "We are already using the existing drones and we certainly are not using them in a humane fashion… so imagine having a fully automated [autonomous] robot and how it could be programmed," CODEPINK's co-founder Medea Benjamin said in a phone interview.

    According to Benjamin, any person who, for example, "has a beard or has a turban on or lives in a certain area" could become a target of LAWS.

    “It could be a disaster. That’s why there is this campaign to ban them before they are to [be] used,” she concluded.

    She also claims that US police departments would want to buy fully autonomous weapons when their production starts.

    “There’s no reason to think that if there is a possibility of getting automated [autonomous] drones, the [US] police departments would not want them as well,” Medea Benjamin said.

    Benjamin explained that since the US airspace opened up for controlled drones, there was a tremendous interest in them from the country's police departments.

    "While they [US police] say they won't be weaponized, these [fully autonomous weapons] are meant to be weaponized, they can have tazers and grenades," she said.

    CODEPINK's co-founder added that the US police seek to get the most sophisticated equipment they can and that as there are 18,000 police departments in the United States, the manufacturers of such weaponry would be looking forward for cooperation with law enforcers.

    Medea Benjamin also noted that the campaign against fully autonomous weapons in the United Kingdom is rather weak as the country seems to oppose the ban of such weaponry.

    "It's really a question of how much citizen or organizational pressure has been put on the government. I suppose, in the case of the UK, the campaign just has not been hard enough,” she said.

    Benjamin also added that generally, the militaries are not in favour of banning any kind of weaponry.

    "It was very hard to get a ban on cluster bombs, a ban for use of white phosphorus,” the activist group's co-founder noted.

    On April 9, a leading Human Rights Watch expert on the matter Bonnie Docherty told Sputnik that the so-called "killer robots" could serve as a perfect tool for repression as they lack humane traits such as compassion.

    LAWS are defined as weapon systems designed and built to select and fire upon targets without human intervention.

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    Tags:
    combat robots, UAV, CODEPINK, United States, United Kingdom
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