Featured Articles

Analysts expect ARM to do well next year

Analysts expect ARM to do well next year

British chip designer ARM could cash in on the mobile industry's rush to transition to 64-bit operating systems and hardware.

More...
Huawei and Xiaomi outpace Lenovo, LG in smartphone market

Huawei and Xiaomi outpace Lenovo, LG in smartphone market

Samsung has lost smartphone market share, ending the quarter on a low note and Xiaomi appears to be the big winner.

More...
Intel Broadwell 15W coming to CES

Intel Broadwell 15W coming to CES

It looks like Intel will be showing off its 14nm processors, codenames Broadwell, in a couple of weeks at CES 2015.

More...
Gainward GTX 980 Phantom reviewed

Gainward GTX 980 Phantom reviewed

Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the recently introduced Gainward GTX 980 4GB with the company’s trademark Phantom cooler.

More...
Zotac ZBOX Sphere OI520 barebones vs Sphere Plus review

Zotac ZBOX Sphere OI520 barebones vs Sphere Plus review

Zotac has been in the nettop and mini-PC space for more than four years now and it has managed to carve…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 11:22

Human Rights Watch calls for autonomous drone ban

Written by Peter Scott



Only humans should kill humans, not Skynet


Human Rights Watch has called for an international ban on autonomous robots capable of shooting people without intervention from human operators.

In a report co-produced with the Harvard Law School, the rights group warns about the dangers of employing autonomous robotic weapons on the battlefields of tomorrow. The report describes the contraptions as “killer robots” and calls for an international treaty that would ban their development, production and deployment.

The defense industry has been in love with tech for decades and various levels of automation have been employed in countless weapons systems, dating back to World War II. However, the distinction between them and “killer robots” is the level of autonomy.

Current generation systems are not entirely autonomous and in most cases they rely on human operators to squeeze the trigger, or push the button. The report states that fully autonomous robots that decide for themselves when to fire could be developed within 20 to 30 years, or even sooner.

Purely defensive autonomous weapons systems, like anti-missile CIWS systems, have been around for years, but the report focuses on robots that would shoot actual people rather than sea-skimming missiles.

Human Rights Watch arms division director Steve Goose argued that it would be best to preempt the development of “killer robots” before they get off drawing boards, just in case.

Robotics professor Noel Sharkey raises another problem – accountability.

“If a robot goes wrong, who’s accountable? It certainly won’t be the robot,” he said. “The robot could take a bullet in its computer and go berserk, so there’s no way of really determining who’s accountable and that’s very important for the laws of war.”

Well, to be honest, we're not doing a good job at prosecuting real flesh and blood war criminals, so why should robots be any different?

More here.


Peter Scott

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Facebook activity

Latest Commented Articles

Recent Comments