Numerous members of the United Nations want to talk about ‘killer robots’ but the United States and Russian, along with a small number of other countries, have refused to take up the initiative.
A group of members attending the United Nations’ Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) hoped to discuss whether to take negotiations on fully autonomous weapons powered by artificial intelligence. The group believes the weapons should be banned entirely.
Russia, the United States, South Korea, Australia, and Israel, were among the main countries that opposed a call to action.
“It’s a disappointment, of course, that a small minority of large military powers can hold back the will of the majority,” Mary Wareham, coordinator of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, tells Politico.
To date, 26 countries have fully endorsed the weapons ban. Countries endorsing the ban have called for formal negotiations to start in 2018. You can learn more about the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots HERE.
The structure of the United Nations allows for any one member state to block progress on any given resolution. With numerous member states refusing to talk about the technology in question, it’s unlikely to become a major talking point in the near future.
The request to begin negotiations arrives at a time when arms manufacturers around the world are testing “killer robots” with the promise of lowering the cost of warfare through technological advances.
The United Nations first placed the “killer robots” discussion on the table in 2013. Since that time, there has been very little discussion regarding fully autonomous lethal weapons.
The next Geneva meeting is set for November but experts warn that the disconnect between nations over th use of killer robots is only widening over time.