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Less autonomy. More humanity.

Technology should be used to empower all people, not to reduce us – to stereotypes, labels, objects, or just a pattern of 1’s and 0’s.

With growing digital dehumanisation, the Stop Killer Robots coalition works to ensure human control in the use of force. Our campaign calls for new international law on autonomy in weapons systems.

Why we exist
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The facts about digital dehumanisation

Dehumanisation

Machines don’t see us as people, just another piece of code to be processed and sorted. From smart homes to the use of robot dogs by police enforcement, A.I. technologies and automated decision-making are now playing a significant role in our lives. At the extreme end of the spectrum of automation lie killer robots.

Killer robots don’t just appear – we create them. If we allow this dehumanisation we will struggle to protect ourselves from machine decision-making in other areas of our lives. We need to prohibit autonomous weapons systems that would be used against people, to prevent this slide to digital dehumanisation.

A.I. and Race

Tech like facial recognition favours light-skinned and outwardly masculine faces over darker-skinned and outwardly feminine faces. And, while efforts will be made to diversify data sets, this is not just a case of unrepresentative data. A.I. technologies are reinforcing existing institutional patterns of discrimination. Stereotypes are entrenched by automated decision-making.

New law is needed on autonomy in weapons systems to create boundaries between what is acceptable and unacceptable. This is fundamental to preventing digital dehumanisation and further cycles of oppression and violence. We should be challenging structures of inequality, not embedding them into weapons.

#KeepCtrl

Whether on the battlefield or at a protest, machines cannot make complex ethical choices, they cannot comprehend the value of human life. Machines don’t understand contexts or consequences: understanding is a human capability – and without that understanding we lose moral engagement and we undermine existing legal rules.

Ensuring meaningful human control means understanding the technologies we use, understanding where we are using them, and being fully engaged with the consequences of our actions. Life and death decisions should not be delegated to a machine. It’s time for new international law to regulate these technologies.

Immoral Code is a film that contemplates the impact of Killer Robots in an increasingly automated world- one where machines make decisions over who to kill or what to destroy. It examines if there are situations where it’s morally acceptable to take life, and - would a computer know the difference?

Immoral Code

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Latest news from around the world

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70 states deliver joint statement on autonomous weapons systems at UN General Assembly

For the first time at the United Nations General Assembly, states across the world united in delivering a joint statement on autonomous weapons systems. With a total of 70 states joining, this was the largest cross-regional group statement ever made throughout UN discussions on the issue.  While discussions at the UN CCW have failed to […]

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Loitering munitions with autonomous capabilities used in Ukraine

Stop Killer Robots is monitoring with concern the reported use of a loitering munition with autonomous capabilities by Russia in central Kyiv, as well as elsewhere in Ukraine.  The Shahed-136 is a one-way attack drone which carries an explosive payload of approximately 36kg/80lb, has a flight range of approximately 2500km, and possesses autonomous flight capabilities. […]

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Robotics industry takes a stand

This week, six robotics companies, including Boston Dynamics (the maker of Spot, the robot ‘dog’) published an open letter to the robotics industry, recognising that ‘adding weapons to robots raises 'new risks of harm and serious ethical issues.’

Research and resources

Stopping Killer Robots: A Guide for Policy Makers

Through increased functionality in artificial intelligence and the processing of data through algorithms, machines are beginning to replace humans in the application of force. This has unpredictable and potentially devastating consequences for humanity. It is critical for internationally agreed limits on autonomy in weapon systems to be agreed. A new...

Response to GGE Chair’s Guiding Questions

This paper sets out the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots’ response to the additional questions circulated by the Chair of the Group of Governmental Experts on 12th August 2021. Responses cover topics including: Definitions and characteristics Human-machine interaction and human control Ethics

Grejen med mördarrobotar

Using non-technical language, this resource in Swedish introduces the subject of autonomous weapons, threats posed by the development and use of these weapons, a feminist perspective on the issue, and why a treaty is needed to ensure meaningful human control over the use of force. The original publication can be...

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