Sounding more like science fiction than current times, an "international coalition of disarmament and human rights groups" wants the "development of fully autonomous weapons, dubbed 'killer robots'" to be banned at the UN-sponsored talks in Geneva. Above, the logo for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.
Though they have yet to be fully developed, robotic systems with various degrees of autonomy and lethality are used by the US, Israel, South Korea, and the UK, while other nations, including China and Russia, are believed to be moving toward systems that would give full combat autonomy to machines, the campaign warned.
"In recent months, fully autonomous weapons have gone from an obscure, little-known issue, to one that is commanding international attention", it said.
The Geneva meeting is expected to lead to an agreement to place the issue of "killer robots" firmly on the agenda of the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons. "Most fundamentally, an international ban is needed to ensure that humans will retain control over decisions to target and use force against other humans," said Mary Wareham of Human Rights Watch (HRW).
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