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Use of automated targeting system in Gaza

Stop Killer Robots is deeply concerned with reports of the use of automated targeting systems in the Gaza Strip.

Photo by Mohammed Ibrahim 

Stop Killer Robots is deeply concerned with reports of the use of automated targeting systems in the Gaza Strip. While the “Habsora” (“The Gospel” in English) system is not an autonomous weapon, its reported use by Israel in the Gaza Strip raises grave concerns over the increasing use of autonomy in conflict, digital dehumanisation, artificial intelligence (AI), automation bias, and human control in the use of force. 

According to the Israeli Defense Forces, “Habsora” purportedly can use AI and “rapid and automatic extraction of updated intelligence” to generate recommended targets. Targeting systems that employ automated decision-making and AI technologies present serious concerns and are part of a worrying trend toward the deployment of autonomous weapons systems.  

The use of AI-based systems to “produce targets at a fast pace” represents a grave example of digital dehumanisation raising serious concerns around the violation of human dignity and compliance with international humanitarian law. Additionally, the potential reduction of people to data points based on specific characteristics like ethnicity, gender, weight, gait, etc. raises serious questions about how target profiles are created and in turn how targets are selected. 

There are also serious risks that humans may become over reliant on automated systems wherein targeting recommendations are produced and acted upon by human operators without understanding of how the recommendations were generated.

Stop Killer Robots believes that technology should be developed and used to promote peace, justice, human rights, equality and respect for law – not for autonomous killing or for the further entrenchment or reproduction of inequality and oppression. 

With the UN Secretary-General, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and more than 100 countries having called for a legal instrument on autonomous weapons systems, there is an urgent need for clear prohibitions and regulations on autonomy in weapons systems in international law.

Requests for comment or interviews should be directed to [email protected] 

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