Science & Technology
New UN-hosted talks set to tackle killer robots
By T.K. Randall
August 27, 2018 · 18 comments
We don't want to end up having to deal with robots like these. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Dick Thomas Johnson
Experts from around the world have gathered in Geneva this week to find a solution to this ever-growing threat.
The idea of a world in which intelligent machines can decide for themselves who lives and who dies might sound like the plot of the latest Terminator movie, yet as research in to artificial intelligence moves ever forward, so too does the potential for so-called 'killer robots' - automated weapon systems that can choose who to kill without the need for human intervention.
This week hundreds of experts have gathered at the UN offices in Geneva in an attempt to find a way to define and regulate such systems before it's too late.
There's certainly no denying that autonomous weapon systems are still in their infancy, however it is also clear that robots capable of deciding when to pull the trigger are a very bad idea indeed.
Some countries have advocated a total ban on the development of such systems, while others are still unwilling to commit to such legislation - citing the lack of a clear way to define them.
On Monday, Amnesty International's Rasha Abdul Rahim noted that the technology was outpacing international law and that killer robots are "no longer the stuff of science fiction."
Getting every participating country to vote unanimously on a solution however has proven a challenge.
"We are coming closer to an agreement on what should be the guiding principles - guiding the behavior of states and guiding the development and deployment of such systems around the world," said Gill. "And this is not an insignificant outcome."
To date, a total of 26 countries have backed calls for a blanket ban.
Source: ABC News
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