New Weapons, Proven Precedent: Elements of and Models for a Treaty on Killer Robots
Article 36’s new leaflet ‘Regulating autonomy in weapons systems’ explains with graphics and visuals a basic model of how a treaty to address autonomous weapons could be structured – and illustrates how that structure responds to the problems that increased autonomy in weapons systems raise.
An effective structure for international legal regulation would prohibit certain configurations – such as systems that target people, and those that can’t be meaningfully controlled – and require positive obligations for meaningful human control over others, within a broad scope of sensor-based weapons systems that employ a particular process to apply force: that of matching sensor inputs to a “target profile” of characteristics following a system’s activation, emplacement, or deployment.
This publication can be found on the Article 36 website, available in 7 languages.
We are working to avoid a dehumanised future, where machines can be tasked to kill and apply force without people understanding or being fully responsible for the consequences: international discussions on ‘autonomy’ in weapons systems now need to focus in detail on the specific components of a solution.