Saturday, September 25, 2010

Call to Establish an Arms Control Regime for Robots

A strong call to limit armed tele-operated and autonomous systems came out of the workshop in Berlin this past week. What follows is an excerpt from the full statement.
We believe:
 That the long-term risks posed by the proliferation and further development of these weapon systems outweigh whatever short-term benefits they may appear to have.
 That it is unacceptable for machines to control, determine, or decide upon the application of force or violence in conflict or war.* In all cases where such a decision must be made, at least one human being must be held personally responsible and legally accountable for the decision and its foreseeable consequences.
 That the currently accelerating pace and tempo of warfare is further escalated by these systems and undermines the capacity of human beings to make responsible decisions during military operations.
 That the asymmetry of forces that these systems make possible encourages states, and non-state actors, to pursue forms of warfare that reduce the security of citizens of possessing states.
 That the fact that a vehicle is uninhabited does not confer a right to violate the sovereignty of states.

There is, therefore, an urgent need to bring into existence an arms control regime to regulate the development, acquisition, deployment, and use of armed tele-operated and autonomous robotic weapons.

The full statement can be read here.

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