Group: US, Russia block consensus at 'killer robots' meeting

Group: US, Russia block consensus at 'killer robots' meeting
In this Monday, Aug. 27, 2018 file photo, Peter Asaro, left, of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, and Jody Williams of the Nobel Women's Initiative speak to reporters at a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland. A key opponent of high-tech, automated weapons known as "killer robots" is blaming countries like the U.S. and Russia for blocking consensus at a U.N.-backed conference, where most countries wanted to ensure that humans stay at the controls of lethal machines. (AP Photo/Jamey Keaten, file)

A key opponent of high-tech, automated weapons known as "killer robots" is blaming countries like the U.S. and Russia for blocking consensus at a U.N.-backed conference, where most countries wanted to ensure that humans stay at the controls of lethal machines.

Coordinator Mary Wareham of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots spoke Monday after experts from dozens of countries agreed before dawn Saturday at the U.N. in Geneva on 10 "possible guiding principles" about such "Lethal Automated Weapons Systems."

Point 2 said: "Human responsibility for decisions on the use of weapons systems must be retained since accountability cannot be transferred to machines."

Wareham said such language wasn't binding, adding that "it's time to start laying down some rules now."

Members of the LAWS conference will meet again in November.


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Sep 03, 2018
That's funny if true. Automated systems can give a small country the upper hand against a world power, so US and Russia would have something to gain from supporting a ban on war robots and then overseeing its enforcement. It is just as the case of nuclear weapons, but without the scientific sophistication that those require.

Sep 04, 2018
Not that any sort of official ban would be of any use at all. They're too cheap and easy to make, if the average terrorist weren't an utter moron they'd be using them now, and mercenaries are already buying killer robots. Currently there is a company which is showing off a tracked chassis with a heavy chain-fed machine gun mounted on it for "perimeter patrol". It's autonomously driven with human-motion sensors aiming the gun. A human is still supposed to remotely push the fire button, but removing them from the loop is the most minor of software edits.

Killer robots are coming no matter what, we just need to figure out what to do to combat them.

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