Killer Robots: Pre-emptive Ban Needed

Fully Autonomous Weapons Would Increase Danger to Civilians
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10:01 in Washington, DC, November 19, 2012
15:01 GMT, Monday, November 19, 2012
(For Tuesday’s papers)

(Washington, DC, November 19, 2012) – Governments should pre-emptively ban fully autonomous weapons because of the danger they pose to civilians in armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. These future weapons, sometimes called “killer robots,” would be able to choose and fire on targets without human intervention.

The 50-page report, “Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots”, outlines concerns about these fully autonomous weapons, which would inherently lack human qualities that provide legal and non-legal checks on the killing of civilians. In addition, the obstacles to holding anyone accountable for harm caused by the weapons would weaken the law’s power to deter future violations.

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  • © 2012 Russell Christian for Human Rights Watch