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."
I'd like to reply to your points one at a time.
1. Possibly, except when they aren't due to malfunction, bad programming, or parameters outside the programming. So, most likely never.
2. I will always take my chances with the human, because that human doesn't have a profit incentive with my death. It is entirely possible that the owner of people-killing machines has a vested interest in a bodycount. In fact, I would say arms manufacturers will be the ones designing these robots, and they have a consistent incentive to create and profit from war.
3. I, personally, enjoy wielding knives to cut vegetables. I also appreciate owning a gun to shoot animals for food. In fact, I carry a tire iron that looks a lot like a club, with which I occasionally change a tire. I don't care to be a "Kill-on-sight" for a robot because I was "foolish enough to pick up a weapon."
4. Nobody. Nobody gets prosecuted, because robots and their creators will have even more freedom from prosecution than soldiers do now. Some civil liability maybe, but no criminal liability. Otherwise they will never sell/use robots. Which is why we should push for laws assigning ALL of the liability to the parties collecting the profit.
Which is why we should push for laws assigning ALL of the liability to the parties collecting the profit.
And completely immunize the one employing the robots? No thanks.