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posted by azrael on Thursday November 13 2014, @08:26AM   Printer-friendly
from the reverse-polarity dept.

A United Nations commission is meeting in Geneva, Switzerland today to begin discussions on placing controls on the development of weapons systems that can target and kill without the intervention of humans, the New York Times reports. The discussions come a year after a UN Human Rights Council report called for a ban (pdf) on “Lethal autonomous robotics” and as some scientists express concerns that artificially intelligent weapons could potentially make the wrong decisions about who to kill.

SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk recently called artificial intelligence potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons.

Peter Asaro, the cofounder of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC), told the Times, “Our concern is with how the targets are determined, and more importantly, who determines them—are these human-designated targets? Or are these systems automatically deciding what is a target?”

Intelligent weapons systems are intended to reduce the risk to both innocent bystanders and friendly troops, focusing their lethality on carefully—albeit artificially—chosen targets. The technology in development now could allow unmanned aircraft and missile systems to avoid and evade detection, identify a specific target from among a clutter of others, and destroy it without communicating with the humans who launched them.

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  • (Score: 1) by BK on Thursday November 13 2014, @04:46PM

    by BK (4868) on Thursday November 13 2014, @04:46PM (#115591)

    Forget autonomous drones.

    Do existing remote-controlled lethal drones with human-designated targets comply with international law?

    ...yet not necessarily proportional, given that they may be engineered...

    You seem to be suggesting that the use of remote controlled weapon systems are against "international law" because it might be possible for someone, somewhere, someday, to design and use one was that would be better []/more accurate/more precise/less lethal/painted with rainbows. I mean logically, that's great I guess... but taken to its natural conclusion you are suggesting that virtually everything, or at least every weapons system, is against international law because it could be better in some way.

    I don't think that international law works like that.

    ...but you HAVE heard of me.