Thursday, April 16, 2015

Should "killer robots" be banned?

Lethal autonomous weapons systems, or "killer robots" as the public prefer to call them, are almost a reality. In fact in certain cases, such as Israel's Iron Dome rocket defence system, they already exist. Should the ability of a robot to identify a target and execute an attack without human intervention be outlawed? Many people believe it should, arguing that a robot can never act morally, whilst others argue that in certain circumstances robots may be less dangerous than frightened, stressed and fatigued soldiers. A week long meeting at the UN in Geneva is currently considering the issue. The UK government has already declared that it opposes an international ban on developing "killer robots" as described in this article in the Guardian. An international coalition of NGO's called the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is lobbying to have a ban established before the technology is upon us. What do you think?