menu hero image

Targeting people and digital dehumanisation

This short briefing paper addresses the need for a prohibition on autonomous weapons systems designed or used to target humans, and the digital dehumanisation inherent in such systems.

Among the many serious risks and challenges presented by autonomous weapons, a central issue in international discussions on the topic is the need for a prohibition on autonomous weapons systems that target people. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) describes autonomous weapons systems as ‘systems which select and apply force to targets without human intervention’, wherein ‘after initial activation or launch by a person, an autonomous weapon system selfinitiates or triggers a strike in response to information from the environment received through sensors and on the basis of a generalized “target profile”.’ This means that the specific object to be attacked, and the exact time and place of the attack, are determined by sensor processing, not by humans.

Automated Decision Research

Image alt text
SKR dots icon

Stop killer robots

Join us

Keep up with the latest developments in the movement to Stop Killer Robots.

Join us