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Some argue we're starting debate on lethal robots too late

Is the discussion focused on lethal robots beginning too late?
By: Michael Hatamoto | Science, Space & Robotics News | Posted: Jun 1, 2015 4:50 am

Earlier in the year, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) met to discuss the use of lethal and potentially autonomous robots on the battlefield. Researchers are careful not to urge for a worldwide ban of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS), though urge caution - and much more research - that must be conducted by multiple nations.




The argument of maintaining human control over robotics systems on the battlefield is for moral and legal reasons that robots likely couldn't perceive. However, some wonder if the argument has started too late, as there is increased research in non-human solutions conducting military operations.


"Almost all states who are party to the CCW agree with the need for 'meaningful human control' over the targeting and engagement decisions made by weapons," said Stuart Russell, professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, in a statement published by Nature. "Unfortunately, the meaning of 'meaningful' is still to be determined."


There is current concern that robots used in emergency situations posing the threat of lethal use, and there should be regulation of robots able to pose a military threat.


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