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US and Russia under fire for blocking 'Killer Robot' rules at UN backed conference

Daily Mail - Science & tech

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.' Killer robots must be banned to prevent unlawful killings, injuries and other violations of human rights'before it's too late', according to Amnesty International. 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. Last week Amnesty International said killer robots must be banned to prevent unlawful killings, injuries and other violations of human rights'before it's too late', as the talks kicked off.


Europe Poll Supports Killer Robots Ban

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"Banning killer robots is both politically savvy and morally necessary," said Mary Wareham, the Arms Division advocacy director at Human Rights Watch and coordinator of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. "European states should take the lead and open ban treaty negotiations if they are serious about protecting the world from this horrific development." Countries attending the annual meeting of states parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) at the United Nations in Geneva will decide on November 15 whether to continue diplomatic talks on killer robots, also known as lethal autonomous weapons systems or fully autonomous weapons. Since 2014, these states have held eight meetings on lethal autonomous weapons systems under the auspices of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), a major disarmament treaty. Over the course of those meetings, states have built a shared understanding of concern, but they have struggled to reach agreement on credible recommendations for multilateral action due to the objections of a handful of military powers, most notably Russia and the United States.


Nations dawdle on agreeing rules to control 'killer robots' in future wars - Reuters

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NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Countries are rapidly developing "killer robots" - machines with artificial intelligence (AI) that independently kill - but are moving at a snail's pace on agreeing global rules over their use in future wars, warn technology and human rights experts. From drones and missiles to tanks and submarines, semi-autonomous weapons systems have been used for decades to eliminate targets in modern day warfare - but they all have human supervision. Nations such as the United States, Russia and Israel are now investing in developing lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) which can identify, target, and kill a person all on their own - but to date there are no international laws governing their use. "Some kind of human control is necessary ... Only humans can make context-specific judgements of distinction, proportionality and precautions in combat," said Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).


First U.N. talks on rules for 'killer robots' end amid calls for faster action

The Japan Times

GENEVA โ€“ "Robots are not taking over the world," the diplomat leading the first official talks on autonomous weapons assured the meeting Friday, seeking to ease criticism over slow progress toward restricting the use of "killer robots."


UN talks fail to open negotiations on 'killer robots'

Al Jazeera

Country officials and campaigners have expressed disappointment after United Nations talks on autonomous weapons systems โ€“ known as "killer robots" โ€“ stopped short of launching negotiations into an international treaty to govern their use following opposition from manufacturing states. Unlike existing semi-autonomous weapons such as drones, fully-autonomous weapons have no human-operated "kill switch" and instead leave decisions over life and death to sensors, software and machine processes. The regulation of the industry has taken on new urgency since a UN panel report in March said the first autonomous drone attack may have occurred in Libya. This week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres encouraged the 125 parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) to come up with an "ambitious plan" on new rules. But on Friday, the Sixth Review Conference of the CCW failed to schedule further talks around the development and use of the Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems, or LAWS.