Late last year Human Rights Watch and Harvard released a 50-page report that outlined the challenges faced by humanity in the face of advances in semi-autonomous robots equipped with lethal weapons (aka killer robots). Inspired by the paper, a consortium of international organizations has joined forces to launch "Campaign to Stop Killer Robots".
The goal of the organization is the preemptively ban the use of semi-autonomous robots that could be used in military conflicts to harm humans. The organization's newly launched website delivers details and expert testimony designed to make the case for stopping these so-called killer robots before they become commonplace.
Accrording to one of the group's members, roboticist Noel Sharkey, chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control:
"Killer robots are not self-willed 'Terminator'-style robots, but computer-directed weapons systems that once launched can identify targets and attack them without further human involvement. Using such weapons against an adaptive enemy in unanticipated circumstances and in an unstructured environment would be a grave military error. Computer controlled devices can be hacked, jammed, spoofed, or can be simply fooled and misdirected by humans."
As for how the organization hopes to stop the rapid rise of drones and other types of semi-autonomous robots that could be used against humans, the group will push for a new international law or treaty to specifically address these issues.
If you're still unacquainted with the general thrust of why such a group has come in being so early in the development of military robotics, you can check out a short video (below) released in conjunction with the original study that outlines the group's concerns.