'Killer robots' now a grave threat to mankind

Pakistan is among 30 countries that have called for a treaty to ban use of lethal autonomous weapons systems

Tech Desk August 11, 2020
PHOTO: Reuters

Around 30 countries have shown interest in a new international treaty against fully autonomous weapons systems that select and engage targets without meaningful human control, according to a report published by Human Rights Watch, a New-York based nongovernmental organisation.

Known as killer robots, these weapons systems are unacceptable and a present a serious threat to humanity.

The report further said that since 2013, around 97 countries have publicly expressed their apprehensions over fully autonomous and serious ethical, legal, operational, proliferation, moral, and technological concerns over removing human control from the use of force.

There is a rapid increase in technological developments that enables militaries to incorporate autonomy into weapons systems.

Countries such as China, Israel, Russia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States are investing heavily in the development of various autonomous weapons systems, while Australia, Turkey, and are also making investments.

Further, the report posits that banning fully autonomous weapons means prohibiting weapons systems that lack meaningful human control.

"Removing human control from the use of force is now widely regarded as a grave threat to humanity that, like climate change, deserves urgent multilateral action," said Mary Wareham, the campaign's coordinator and arms division advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.

"An international ban treaty is the only effective way to deal with the serious challenges raised by fully autonomous weapons," she added.

Since the launch of campaign, #StopKillerRobots has been trending on Twitter with more people joining the bandwagon to support the ban.



Pakistan is amongst the 30 countries that have called for a treaty to ban the use of lethal autonomous weapons systems; while China has also called for a ban but has not prohibited the development or production, which means that it is also among the nations most advanced in pursuing such weapons.



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