from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong? dept.
Turkey is targeting the production of unmanned tanks for its armed forces, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated. "We will carry it a step further [after domestically produced unmanned aerial vehicles] ... We should reach the ability to produce unmanned tanks as well. We will do it," Erdoğan said at a meeting held at the presidential complex in Ankara on Feb. 21.
Five Turkish soldiers were recently killed in a tank near the Sheikh Haruz area of Syria's Afrin district, where Turkey has been carrying on a military operation against the People's Protection Units (YPG) since Jan. 20.
[...] The Turkish president has repeatedly criticized certain foreign countries for allegedly being reluctant to sell unmanned aerial vehicles, armed or unarmed, stressing that unmanned systems could decrease casualties.
Also at ABC.
The U.N. has begun discussion on "lethal autonomous robots," killing machines which take the next step from our current drones which are operator controlled, to completely autonomous killing machines.
"Killer robots would threaten the most fundamental of rights and principles in international law," warned Steve Goose, arms division director at Human Rights Watch.
Are we too far down the rabbit hole, or can we come to reasonable and humane limits on this new world of death-by-algorithm?
The meeting, chaired by a German diplomat, Michael Biontino, has also been asked to discuss questions such as: in what situations are distinctively human traits, such as fear, hate, sense of honour and dignity, compassion and love desirable in combat?, and in what situations do machines lacking emotions offer distinct advantages over human combatants?
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an alliance of human rights groups and concerned scientists, is calling for an international prohibition on fully autonomous weapons.
Last week Human Rights Watch released a report urging the creation of a new protocol specifically aimed at outlawing Laws. Blinding laser weapons were pre-emptively outlawed in 1995 and combatant nations since 2008 have been required to remove unexploded cluster bombs.
[...] The Foreign Office told the Guardian: "At present, we do not see the need for a prohibition on the use of Laws, as international humanitarian law already provides sufficient regulation for this area. The United Kingdom is not developing lethal autonomous weapons systems, and the operation of weapons systems by the UK armed forces will always be under human oversight and control. As an indication of our commitment to this, we are focusing development efforts on remotely piloted systems rather than highly automated systems."