UN panel discusses ways to regulate ‘killer robots,’ autonomous weapons

Fully autonomous weapon systems don't exist yet, but it's never too late to regulate Skynet

Many countries’ experts are meeting in Geneva this week to discuss how to define and deal with ‘killer robots.’

The gathering, the second such at UN offices this year, will focus on futuristic weapon systems that could conduct war without human intervention. The panel will explore ways to regulate these systems, says Global News.

However, the debate is still in the early stages. According to UN officials, fully autonomous, computer controlled weapons don’t exist yet. Additionally, experts have struggled with basic definitions of these systems.

Furthermore, some countries have argued against the debates. The U.S., for example, says it’s premature to establish a definition of such systems, let alone regulate them.

Other advocacy groups say that policy should prevent governments and militaries from developing such systems.

Additionally, groups warned ‘killer robots’ are very much a real threat as technological advances outpace international law.

Despite the arguments, the UN conference works by consensus. That means a single participating country could undo efforts to reach an international ban.

However, progress is being made, meeting chair and former Indian ambassador to the UN Conference on Disarmament Amandeep Gill told Global News.

According to Gill, there are three main groups of countries: those that seek a formal, legal ban on such weapons, those that want a political, non-binding agreement, and those that want no changes.

Gill told reporters that the conference is coming closer to an agreement regarding guiding principles. These principles would guide the behaviour of states and the development and deployment of such weapon systems.

While I don’t think we have to worry about ‘killer robots’ taking over the world just yet, it’s important to have regulations in place. These kinds of weapon systems have devastating potential. The UN should police them accordingly.

Source: Global News