Civil Rights & Constitutional Law


Killer robots must be BANNED 'before it's too late': Amnesty International pleads with UN

Daily Mail

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. The human rights non-profit is calling upon the United Nations to place tough new restraints on the development of autonomous weapon systems ahead of key negotiations in Geneva this week. The development of automated weapons, which can pick out and eliminate targets without input from a human being, has proliferated over the past decade. Countries including the UK, France, Israel and the US are known to be developing the technology for use in military and police operations. Amnesty International argues humans should remain'at the core of critical decisions' on the use of deadly force, such as the selection and engagement of targets.


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Daily Mail

A report by Human Rights Watch and the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic calls for humans to remain in control over all weapons systems at a time of rapid technological advances. It says that requiring humans to remain in control of critical functions during combat, including the selection of targets, saves lives and ensures that fighters comply with international law. 'Machines have long served as instruments of war, but historically humans have directed how they are used,' said Bonnie Docherty, senior arms division researcher at Human Rights Watch, in a statement. 'Now there is a real threat that humans would relinquish their control and delegate life-and-death decisions to machines.' Some have argued in favour of robots on the battlefield, saying their use could save lives.


Stephen Hawking warns that robots could replace humans

Daily Mail

A report by Human Rights Watch and the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic calls for humans to remain in control over all weapons systems at a time of rapid technological advances. It says that requiring humans to remain in control of critical functions during combat, including the selection of targets, saves lives and ensures that fighters comply with international law. 'Machines have long served as instruments of war, but historically humans have directed how they are used,' said Bonnie Docherty, senior arms division researcher at Human Rights Watch, in a statement. 'Now there is a real threat that humans would relinquish their control and delegate life-and-death decisions to machines.' Some have argued in favor of robots on the battlefield, saying their use could save lives.


Chatbot helps asylum seekers prepare for their interviews Springwise

#artificialintelligence

MarHub is a new chatbot developed by students at the University of California-Berkeley's Haas School of Business to help asylum seekers through the complicated process of applying to become an official refugee – which can take up to 18 months – and to avoid using smugglers. Finding the right information for the asylum process isn't easy, and although most asylum seekers are in possession of a smartphone, a lot of the information is either missing or out of date. MarHub is designed to help with that, as it will walk the user through what they can expect and also how to present their case. MarHub is also expandable, so that new information or regulations can be quickly added to make it a hub of useful information. The concept of MarHub was born in late 2016, in response to the Hult Prize social enterprise challenge, which was focusing on refugees for 2017.


The 'robot lawyer' giving free legal advice to refugees

BBC News

A technology initially used to fight traffic fines is now helping refugees with legal claims. When Joshua Browder developed DoNotPay he called it "the world's first robot lawyer". It's a chatbot - a computer program that carries out conversations through texts or vocal commands - and it uses Facebook Messenger to gather information about a case before spitting out advice and legal documents. It was originally designed to help people wiggle out of parking or speeding tickets. But now Browder - a 20-year-old British man currently studying at Stanford University - has adapted his bot to help asylum seekers.


Stephen Hawking warns that AI could be humanity's greatest disaster

Daily Mail

Professor Stephen Hawking has warned that artificial intelligence could develop a will of its own that is in conflict with that of humanity. It could herald dangers like powerful autonomous weapons and ways for the few to oppress the many, he said, as he called for more research in the area. But if sufficient research is done to avoid the risks, it could help in humanity's aims to'finally eradicate disease and poverty', he added. He was speaking in Cambridge at the launch of The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, which will explore the implications of the rapid development of artificial intelligence. All great achievements of civilisation, from learning to master fire to learning to grow food to understanding the cosmos, were down to human intelligence, he said.


New report calls for ban on 'killer robots' amid UN meeting

#artificialintelligence

Technology allowing a pre-programmed robot to shoot to kill, or a tank to fire at a target with no human involvement, is only years away, experts say. A new report called Monday for a ban on such "killer robots." The report by Human Rights Watch and the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic was released as the United Nations kicked off a week-long meeting on such weapons in Geneva. The report calls for humans to remain in control over all weapons systems at a time of rapid technological advances. It says that requiring humans to remain in control of critical functions during combat, including the selection of targets, saves lives and ensures that fighters comply with international law.