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Legality of fully autonomous weapons proves rather complicated

The legality of fully autonomous weapons will further complicate the legal and moral issues surrounding next-generation weapons platforms
By: Michael Hatamoto | Science, Space & Robotics News | Posted: Apr 20, 2015 1:40 pm

The growing use of semi-autonomous weapon systems have many military experts and researchers wondering about the future of fully autonomous technology.




The Human Rights Watch defines a fully autonomous weapon as one that is able to identify, select and engage targets with no human interaction - which could revolutionize warfare, but poses great challenges.


"If these machines did come into existence, there would be no way to hold anyone accountable if they violated international law," warned Bonnie Docherty, Harvard Law School lecturer and senior researcher of the Human Rights Watch, in a statement to the MIT Technology Review. "The programmer, the manufacturer, the commander, and the operator would all escape liability under existing law."


"It's also important to note that our report looks at both criminal law and civil law, and we found that there's an accountability gap under both."


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