BBC News reports that due the UN Human Rights Council are set to sit down and discuss the ethics of using robots capable of killing. Now this may sound somewhat silly, but its actually an interesting question raised about the future of modern warfare. The robots in question are autonomous machines that have no direct human control, unlike the drones currently used by the US military for strikes on suspected hostile areas.
One of the campaigners against the use of the robots, from the snappily titled “Campaign to stop Killer Robots” said it raises important moral questions:
“Who takes the final decision to kill? Can a robot really distinguish between a military target and civilians? If there are serious civilian casualties, who is to be held responsible? After all, a robot cannot be prosecuted for a war crime”
These questions are set to be pondered in the next few months.