UN convention to meet on 'killer robots'

By Ahmet Salih Alacaci

ANKARA (AA) – The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) will meet in Geneva between Aug. 27 and 31, according to the UN Office.

According to the office, this CCW meeting is to be the second such conference in which legal, ethical and security aspects of LAWS will be addressed by government officials, non-governmental organizations and academic researchers and institutions.

The development and use of “killer robots” are increasingly coming under scrutiny by the UN and international press.

Killer robots, or LAWS, are autonomous weapons which are generally considered to be systems that are capable of selecting and attacking a target without human intervention, according to a 2018 report by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs.

“From artificially intelligent drones to automated guns that can choose their own targets, technological advances in weaponry are far outpacing international law,” a recent statement by the Amnesty International said.

Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a platform pushing for an international ban on LAWS, said, “Allowing life or death decisions to be made by machines crosses a fundamental moral line. Autonomous robots would lack human judgment and the ability to understand context.”

According to a UN Office for Disarmament Affairs report, all countries agree in principle that human oversight is indispensable in the use of lethal force.

However, the Amnesty International said several states — including Israel, the U.S., South Korea, the U.K., France and Russia — are known to be developing autonomous weapons systems.