Human rights org launches pre-emptive strike against killer robots

Those who believe in the singularity have been waiting for the time when machines might challenge mankind, but a very real group of humans has decided to deliver a pre-emptive strike against what they call "killer robots," and they make a convincing case.

Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law's International Human Rights Clinic has published a 50-page report titled "Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots." In the report, Human Rights Watch makes a passionate plea to the world's governments to halt what they believe is the inevitable development of drones and military robots that are authorized to kill human targets using their own judgment, away from the control of a human hand on the trigger.

The organization has not only done extensive research on the development of military robots, but it has also enlisted the skills of a number of experts including Noel Sharkey, a professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Sheffield. This call for a pre-emptive ban on killer robots might sound outlandish, until you consider how widespread and effective the use of unmanned military drones has become in carrying out missions to kill enemy combatants.

Steve Goose, Arms Division director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement, "Human control of robotic warfare is essential to minimizing civilian deaths and injuries… It is essential to stop the development of killer robots before they show up in national arsenal. As countries become more invested in this technology, it will become harder to persuade them to give it up… Action is needed now, before killer robots cross the line from science fiction to feasibility."

Scared yet? Well, if you're still not convinced that the time for guidelines governing robotic military weapons has arrived, the organization has posted a video that makes the case in more emphatic terms, which you can see it below.

Via Human Rights Watch

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