News

Bringing race and intersectionality to disarmament

A record turn-out of 115 people from 40 countries participated in Part One of the Humanitarian Disarmament Forum on 19-21 October, co-hosted by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and Soka Gakkai International. This was the ninth annual gathering of activists working across humanitarian disarmament since 2012 and the first Forum to be held virtually. Read more...

New Human Rights Watch Report

In August, Human Rights Watch released a new report authored by Campaign coordinator Mary Wareham entitled, “Stopping Killer Robots: Country Positions on Banning Fully Autonomous Weapons and Retaining Human Control.” The 55-page report reviews the positions of 97 countries that have publicly commented since 2013 on calls to ban fully autonomous weapons. The report is Read more...

Engaging Youth

Since the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots participated in the World Scout Jamboree in July 2019, we have received multiple requests from children and young people asking for information on the killer robots threat as well as how to help the Campaign. In response, the Campaign staff team are producing new resources, holding consultations with Read more...

Outreach at RightsCon

In July 2020, the Campaign hosted an event at “RightsCon,” the preeminent annual gathering of activists and others working for human rights in the digital age. This was the Campaign’s first participation at RightsCon and it certainly won’t be our last. Originally scheduled to be held in Costa Rica, the 2020 RightsCon was transformed into Read more...

Digital diplomacy begins

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots participated in a webcast version of the Berlin Forum on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems on 1-2 April. The original face-to-face meeting for government representatives and non-governmental organizations was initially cancelled due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). Read more...

Defending multilateralism in 2019

As we close out the decade, it is worth reflecting on how far the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots has come. The killer robots challenge is now regarded by foreign ministers and other high-level politicians as an urgent “politically relevant” concern deserving immediate multilateral action. There is widespread recognition that weapons systems that would select Read more...

10 Ways for Tech Workers to Get Involved

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is a coalition of over a hundred civil society organizations working across 54 countries to stop the development and use of fully autonomous weapons through an international treaty. These weapons would be able to select and engage targets without human intervention, effectively ceding the decision to take a human Read more...

Global poll shows 61% oppose Killer Robots

Public opinion is in line with the Campaign’s call for action to prevent the development of killer robots. It’s time to negotiate a treaty to prohibit fully autonomous weapons. The survey of 26 countries was conducted in December 2018 by the market research company Ipsos and commissioned by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. It Read more...

Rise of the tech workers

A group of more than 4,000 anonymous Google employees has fittingly been named 2018 “Arms Control Person of the Year” for their role in helping the company to end a military contract that raised ethical and other concerns over the appropriate use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots applauds Read more...

Support grows for new international law on killer robots

After four years a multilateral process to consider concerns relating to lethal autonomous weapons systems looks set to continue aiming low and going slow despite increasing calls for new international law to address this concern. Read more...

Norwegian fund considers killer robots

The challenge of killer robots is firmly on the agenda in Norway, where the ethics council of the $830 billion Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global has announced it intends to begin monitoring companies investing in the potential development of fully autonomous weapons systems. Ethics council chair Johan H. Andresen said the aim is to see if such investments would be contrary to Read more...

Artificial intelligence research call

Prominent scientists and researchers from industry and academia have signed an open letter calling for artificial intelligence (AI) and smart machine research to focus on developing systems that are “robust and beneficial” to humanity. The letter links to a document outlining “research directions that can help maximize the societal benefit of AI” that includes a list of legal, ethical, and Read more...

Missile Systems and Human Control

An article that appeared on the front page of The New York Times on 12 November detailing the trend towards autonomous warfare by the United States and other nations with high-tech militaries has attracted significant interest. The in-depth piece by science writer John Markoff is the outlet’s first on the “killer robots” challenge since Bill Keller’s Read more...

Back to the United Nations in New York

Representatives from the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots will be in New York on 20-21 October to talk to government representatives and other United Nations (UN) delegates as well as media and the public about their concerns over fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots” and the need for government action. Read more...

Company pledges it won’t develop killer robots

ClearPath Robotics of Kitchener, Canada issued the following statement on 13 August 2014, pledging its support for the call for a preemptive ban on fully autonomous weapons. The company says it will continue to work with its military clients, but has “vouched to not manufacture weaponized robots that remove humans from the loop” as it “has chosen to value our Read more...

Nobel laureates call for killer robots ban

More than 20 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates have endorsed a joint statement calling for a ban on weapons that would be able to select and attack targets without meaningful human control. The Laureates warn that lethal robots would “completely and forever change the face of war and likely spawn a new arms race” and ask, “Can humanity afford to follow such a Read more...

Launch of the Irish campaign

On 10 April, the Irish launch of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots took place at at Trinity College Dublin with a  keynote address by Professor Noel Sharkey, chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, a founder of the global Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Afri—a peace and human rights organisation that opposes war Read more...

European Parliament resolution a first

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution on the use of armed drones that includes a call for a ban on killer robots. The resolution sponsored by the Greens/European Free Alliance group of Members of the European Parliament with cross-party support, passed by a vote of 534–49 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 27 February. The Read more...

‘RoboCop’ hits the right messages

On February 12, a much-anticipated remake of the 1987 film Robocop opened in movie theatres across the United States. Both the original and remake portray the transformation of a policeman in the future into a man-machine hybrid, but the remake also provides some compelling messages for emerging efforts to control fully autonomous weapons in the real Read more...

UN wants action on killer robot concerns

In his tenth report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict issued on 22 November 2013, United Nations Secretary-General has called for international action to address the concerns over fully autonomous weapons or ‘killer robots.’ The remarks are the latest in a string of statements that United Nations (UN) officials have made on the Read more...

High-level outreach in Italy

Italy’s top political leadership has been briefed by Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams of the Nobel Women’s Initiative and Italian non-governmental organizations on the need for the government to support the call for a ban on fully autonomous weapons and play an active role in international efforts to address the weapons. The outreach in effect marks Read more...

Nations agree to take on killer robots!

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots welcomes the historic decision taken by nations to begin international discussions on how to address the multiple challenges posed by fully autonomous weapons. It marks the beginning of a process that the campaign believes should lead to an international ban on these weapons to ensure there is always meaningful human Read more...

More states speak out at UN

The 2013 session of the United Nations General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security has seen a number of states speak for the first time about fully autonomous weapons, with many urging international talks. The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots addressed the First Committee for the first time on 29 October and called on states to Read more...

Campaigning at the UN in New York

At the newly refurbished United Nations in New York this month, there have been several signs that momentum is building behind calls for international talks on fully autonomous weapons, also known as “lethal autonomous robots” or “killer robots.” The evidence that this issue has arrived could be seen everywhere during the UN General Assembly First Committee on Read more...

It’s Time for International Talks

At an event at the United Nations in New York today (Monday, 21 October), representatives of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots urged all nations to agree to begin international talks aimed at preventing the creation of fully autonomous robot weapons that, once activated, would select and engage targets without human intervention. Read more...

ICRC on new technologies and warfare

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has issued a new edition of its quarterly journal International Review of the Red Cross, focused on new technologies and warfare and featuring articles by several members of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots: Dr. Peter Asaro of ICRAC on banning autonomous weapons systems, Prof. Noel Sharkey of ICRAC Read more...

United Kingdom debating killer robots

Representatives from both sides of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom agree that fully autonomous weapons raise numerous concerns warranting further deliberation, including at the international level. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alistair Burt, however emphasized that the government does not support the call for a moratorium on these Read more...

Consensus: killer robots must be addressed

On 30 May 2013 in Geneva, nations for the first time ever debated what to do about fully autonomous weapons at the United Nations Human Rights Council following the presentation of the report on ‘lethal autonomous robotic weapons’ by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Read more...

UN report on lethal autonomous robotics

The United Nations (UN) report calling for a global moratorium on lethal autonomous robotics, weapons systems that can select and kill targets without a human being directly issuing a command, will be considered this week in Geneva. The report is due to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council during the afternoon of Wednesday, May 29 by its author Professor Read more...

New US policy

On 21 November 2012, the Department of Defense of the United States issued its first-ever policy on autonomy in weapons systems, requiring that a human always be “in-the-loop” when decisions are made about using lethal force. Read more...