Over the past decade, the expanded use of unmanned armed vehicles has dramatically changed warfare, bringing new humanitarian and legal challenges. Now rapid advances in technology are resulting in efforts to develop fully autonomous weapons. These robotic weapons would be able to choose and fire on targets on their own, without any human intervention. This brings numerous moral and ethical, legal, policy, technical, and other concerns.
Giving machines the power to decide who lives and dies on the battlefield is an unacceptable application of technology. Human control of any combat robot is essential to ensuring both humanitarian protection and effective legal control. A comprehensive, pre-emptive prohibition on fully autonomous weapons is urgently needed. The "Stop Killer Robots" campaign outlines how a ban could be achieved through an international treaty, as well as through national laws and other measures.
Currently, different United Nations bodies and 26 states are calling for a new treaty to ban fully autonomous weapons. More than 100 countries now support moving to establish new international law aimed at retaining some form of human control over weapons systems and the use of force. For the "Campaign to Stop Killer Robots", if the human control is truly meaningful both these paths achieve the same outcome of preventing a future of unchecked robotic warfare.
On 27-31 August, 2018, more than 70 countries will convene at the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) at the UN in Geneva for their sixth meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems since 2014.
SOURCE: Campaign to Stop Killer Robots