Human Rights Watch Warns of Killer Robots

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Gadgets, Social Media, Technology


James Cameron’s Terminator

Robot Uprising? Completely autonomous military vehicles are dangerously close to becoming a reality.

The U.S. Military’s X47B is designed to refuel itself and land by itself on an aircraft carrier. What comes next is the problem.

A fifty page joint report by the Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic warns that the next step is for these unmanned machines to be able to make life and death decisions, firing on particular targets deemed to be threats, without the need for a human go-ahead.

The report firmly demands, “Governments should pre-emptively ban fully autonomous weapons because of the danger they pose to civilians in armed conflict”

The Harvard and Human Rights Watch report cites lack of accountability for mistakes made by autonomous drones and “lack of human qualities that provide legal and non-legal checks on the killing of civilians” as the reason for the ban.

“It is essential to stop the development of killer robots before they show up in national arsenals,” Arms Director Steve Goose said. “As countries become more invested in this technology, it will become harder to persuade them to give it up.”

The initiative hopes to prohibit the development, production, and use of fully autonomous weapons. They also called on individual nations to pass laws and adopt policies as important measures to prevent development, production, and use of such weapons at the domestic level.

What do you think? Is this something we really need to be looking into or a blatant overreaction?

Human Rights Watch



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Comments (1)

  • Trekkie


    I, Robot, say let’s just train a sports team for each country and whoever wins the “tournament” wins the right to be in charge that year. Seriously, this is ludicrous, war is ugly but ultimately it amounts to who is the better strategist and warrior, who has the most support which results in replenishing combatants with new recruits who also believe in what they are fighting for. A robot would be a “game” changer, the one with the gold rules whether they are right or not. Humans make enough bad choices, we don’t need a non human making indiscriminate calls regarding life and death.


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