Killer Robots: Un fails to agree on a ban on lethal robots



Killer Robots are autonomous systems with lethal weapons that can operate independently. These autonomous weapon system select and attack targets without a human weighing in on those decisions. Weaponized drones are one example of killer robots. According to a recent UN Security Council report on the Libyan civil war. Killer robots may have killed human beings for the first time ever last year. Militaries around the world are investing heavily in autonomous weapons research and development. 

Human rights and humanitarian organizations are calling to establish regulations and prohibitions on such weapons development. Without such regulations, killer robots will threaten current nuclear strategies and increase the risk of preemptive military attacks. Killer robots with autonomous weapons have many problems. The first is the problem of misidentification. 

When selecting a target, autonomous weapons will have to distinguish between hostile soldiers and children playing with toy guns. It will also have to distinguish between civilians fleeing a conflict site and insurgents making a tactical retreat. In these cases, an algorithmic error will be even more dangerous than human error. Killer robots will be run by the same algorithm. 

Furthermore, the scale, scope and speed of killer robot systems will turn any mistake into a massacre. Al algorithms used in automated systems are also making mistakes by discriminating against certain ethnic groups and races. As a result, algorithms might reinforce stereotypes. 

They would autonomously create patterns and launch automated actions based on these discriminatory dicisions. Killer robots might become cheap, effective and almost impossible to contain as they circulate around the globe. This means that more organizations can illegally have access to automated weapon systems internationally.  

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