No killer robots, says UN

2013-05-03 14:42
This photo shows 'Reptar', a robotic snake that is one of 17 possible creations available in the new, Lego Mindstorms EV3 platform. (Lego, AP)

This photo shows 'Reptar', a robotic snake that is one of 17 possible creations available in the new, Lego Mindstorms EV3 platform. (Lego, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - Killer robots that can attack targets without any human input "should not have the power of life and death over human beings," a new draft UN report says.

The report for the UN Human Rights Commission deals with legal and philosophical issues involved in giving robots lethal powers over humans, echoing countless science-fiction novels and films. It was posted online this week.

Report author Christof Heyns, a UN human rights lawyer, calls for a worldwide moratorium on the "testing, production, assembly, transfer, acquisition, deployment and use" of killer robots until an international conference can develop rules for their use.

In the report, Heyns calls them "lethal autonomous robotics", or LARs for short, and writes: "Decisions over life and death in armed conflict may require compassion and intuition. Humans - while they are fallible - at least might possess these qualities, whereas robots definitely do not."

The report goes beyond the recent debate over drone killings of al-Qaeda suspects and nearby civilians who are maimed or killed in the air strikes. Drones do have human oversight. The killer robots are programmed to make autonomous decisions on the spot without orders from humans.

Weapons

According to the report, the US, Britain, Israel, South Korea and Japan have developed various types of fully or semi-autonomous weapons. It cites these examples:

- The US Phalanx system for Aegis-class cruisers, which automatically detects, tracks and engages anti-air warfare threats such as anti-ship missiles and aircraft.

- The US Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) system that can automatically destroy incoming artillery, rockets and mortar rounds.

- Israel's Harpy, a "Fire-and-Forget" autonomous weapon system designed to detect, attack and destroy radar emitters.

- Britain's Taranis jet-propelled combat drone prototype that can autonomously search, identify and locate enemies but can only engage with a target when authorised by mission command. It also can defend itself against enemy aircraft.

- The Northrop Grumman X-47B fighter-size drone prototype commissioned by the US Navy to demonstrate autonomous launch and landing capability on aircraft carriers.

- The Samsung Techwin surveillance and security guard robots, deployed in the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea, to detect targets through infrared sensors. They are currently operated by humans but have an "automatic mode".

- AP

Read more on:    un  |  robotics
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
21 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.