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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday April 14 2015, @11:38AM   Printer-friendly
from the actually-taken-over-by-Cybermen dept.

The UK is opposing international efforts to ban "lethal autonomous weapons systems" (Laws) at a week-long United Nations session in Geneva:

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."

 
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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 14 2015, @11:57AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 14 2015, @11:57AM (#170343)

    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."

    Translation: we don't have these kind of things as of yet but we're working on them as we speak. It'd be a real shame if the millions of GBP's we've sunk into this tech be wasted. BTW, mr. Journalist, do you want front-row tickets to the demo we're giving next week? We're only doing this to 'disincentivize' Bad Guys(tm). We're different from them Bad Guys(tm) because we ... errr... we are the Good Guys(tm)!

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  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday April 14 2015, @11:17PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 14 2015, @11:17PM (#170625) Journal

    While I largely agree that the wording is suspect, I have to ask how your translation:

    Translation: we don't have these kind of things as of yet but we're working on them as we speak.

    accounts for the the clear and unambiguous statement:

    The United Kingdom is not developing lethal autonomous weapons systems

    I mean, other than calling it an outright lie.
    If that's the case, there must be some leakage somewhere to make you want to say so. British are almost as bad at keeping secrets as Americans. So there must be some hint at such development???

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.