Killer robots that have so far only been seen in post-apocalyptic movies like Terminator 2: Judgment Day are close to becoming a reality and need to be stopped according to a senior United Nations official.
Angela Kane, the UN’s high representative for disarmament, has warned that killer robots that are programmed to fire without human control are a “small step” away from being deployed on the battlefield. Kane has now insisted that military officials should now agree to outlaw them from fighting.
Kane has insisted that governments should reveal more details about these programmes which have developed this technology to an alarming extent, while she wants a pre-emptive ban before the scenario escalates too far.
“Any weapon of war is terrible,” she explained, according to The Telegraph, “and if you can launch this without human intervention, I think it’s even worse. It compounds the problem and dehumanises it in a way. It becomes a faceless war and I think that’s really terrible and so to my mind I think it should be outlawed.”
However Kane went on to admit that she doesn’t actually have too much power in this department though: “The decision is really in the hands of the states who have the capability to develop them.”
Kane noted that there is now “a great deal of concern” about the fact that these robots could enter into a war zone and then commit heinous war crimes.
What’s making Kane even more nervous is that military powers from across the globe have so far refused to be drawn on or discuss the issue – while she noted that several developing countries have already registered their concern about these killer robots being used on their land.
“There’s a great deal of concern about the increasing automation that’s going on in general,” Kane continued. “Just think about these self-driving cars that we hear are being tested on the roads. So that is only just a small step to develop weapons that are going to be activated without human intervention. Warfare in general is becoming increasingly automated. The concern relates specifically to weapons that have the capability of selecting and also attacking targets without human intervention. Who has the responsibility and who has the liability? This is a really big issue in terms of how we are going about this.”
Earlier this year the United Nations held its first meeting to discuss the threat that is posed by these “lethal autonomous weapons,” and another gathering is planned for Autumn on the subject too.