A UN Human Rights Council meeting in Generva is to discuss the suitability of autonomous weapons.
Robots that can be deployed to the battlefield and then left to make their own decisions on whether or not to fire on a target are in development in several countries including the US, UK and Israel. Unsurprisingly, the concept has sparked considerable protest with campaigners calling for a ban on military robots that cut out the human decision making process.
One of the big concerns is that if the robot makes a decision itself, who is ultimately responsible for it ? Whether or not such robots could ever be trusted to make the right call is also a matter of some debate. "The traditional approach is that there is a warrior, and there is a weapon," said Christof Heyns of the UN. "But what we now see is that the weapon becomes the warrior, the weapon takes the decision itself."
"So-called killer robots are due to be discussed at the UN Human Rights Council, meeting in Geneva."
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