Latest in Autonomous Weapon Systems

Autonomous Weapon Systems

An Opportunity to Change the Conversation on Autonomous Weapon Systems

Those working to ban “killer robots” were clearly distraught when the Chair of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) recently announced that the August 2017 meeting—and, by extension, the inaugural meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems—was canceled due to insufficient funding. Disappointed but undeterred, ban advocates proposed that states “move swiftly . .

Foreign Policy Essay

(Un)Dignified Killer Robots? The Problem with the Human Dignity Argument

Editor's Note: Autonomous weapons systems are often vilified as “killer robots” that will slay thousands without compunction – arguments that the systems’ proponents often dismiss with a wave of their hands. Adam Saxton, a research intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies , argues that the picture is neither black nor white. Autonomous weapons do pose ethical issues in the conduct of warfare, but often the arguments for or against them caricature the weapons and misunderstand their actual use.


Autonomous Weapon Systems

Why the Prohibition on Permanently Blinding Lasers is Poor Precedent for a Ban on Autonomous Weapon Systems

Human Rights Watch and the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School have released their latest report regarding autonomous weapon systems: Precedent for Preemption: The Ban on Blinding Lasers as a Model for a Killer Robots Prohibition. While new regulation is needed, the report fails to address crucial distinctions between the successful ban on permanently blinding lasers and the proposed prohibition on autonomous weapon systems.

Autonomous Weapon Systems

Similar Ethical Dilemmas for Autonomous Weapon Systems and Autonomous Self-Driving Cars

In writing about autonomous weapon systems (AWS) and the law of armed conflict, we have several times observed the similarities between programming AWS and programming other kinds of autonomous technologies, as well as the similarities of ethical issues arising in each. Machine decision-making is gradually being deployed in emerging technologies as different as self-driving cars and highly automated aircraft, and many more will join them in such areas as elder-care machines and robotic surgery.

Autonomous Weapon Systems

NYT on Autonomous Weapons and Ways to Regulate Them

The New York Times has a useful article today on autonomous weapon systems and debate about their regulation.  The issue is also on the discussion agenda this week in Geneva for the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapon.  The Times article says:

Warfare is increasingly guided by software. Today, armed drones can be operated by remote pilots peering into video screens thousands of miles from the battlefield.

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