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Curb on Killer robots

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    28th Dec, 2021

Context

For the first time, a majority of the 125 nations that belong to an agreement called the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons said they wanted curbs on killer robots.

About

  • Autonomous weapon systems – commonly known as killer robots means drones, guns and bombs that decide on their own, with artificial brains, whether to attack and kill.
  • These systems are robots with lethal weapons that can operate independently, selecting and attacking targets without a human weighing in on those decisions.
  • Militaries around the world are investing heavilyin autonomous weapons research and development.
  • The U.S. alone budgeted US$18 billionfor autonomous weapons between 2016 and 2020.

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)

  • Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons or CCW, is also known as the Inhumane Weapons Convention.
  • Purpose: To ban or restrict the use of specific types of weapons that are considered to cause unnecessary or unjustifiable suffering to combatants or to affect civilians indiscriminately.
  • The Convention including three annexed protocols was adopted on 10 October 1980 and opened for signature on 10 April 1981 for the duration of one year. A total of 50 States signed the Convention, which entered into force on 2 December 1983.

Issues with autonomous weapons

  • The problem of misidentification
  • undermine humanity’s final stopgap against war crimes and atrocities
  • lack of accountability
  • legal and moral challenge
  • Shifting blame game
  • The problems of low-end and high-end proliferation (autonomous weapons could get into the hands of people outside of government control, including international and domestic terrorists)
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