The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots... is a thing.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is an international coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) launched in April 2013. We are working for a ban on fully autonomous weapons (robotic weapons that would be able to choose and fire on targets on their own without any human intervention).

Previously.

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10 Responses:

  1. Edouard says:

    I'm happy to report that none of the giant robots I worked on have killed anyone yet. Which was a surprise given some of the codebase...

  2. gryazi says:

    TL;DR - the difference between a killer robot and a relatively dumb heat-seeking missile is time in flight, right? Except a land mine has a rather long one.

    I've been clinging to a belief that the liability problems are enough to keep us from getting this stupid [as far as us in the US widely deploying any such thing] right now, but the more addicted we get to drones and the convenience of stationing troops a world away from our wars, the more we erode this crap until 'autopilot with fire control' seems like a reasonable evolutionary step. And then, of course, there's this thing, which can patrol a programmed track... which would 'just' be maintaining an unmanned keep-out zone like in the good ol' days as long as it doesn't stray off the track. [So is it more ethically palatable to put your killbots on rails? Or do you at least get a discount on your insurance?]

    ...

    There's also a cute little Christmas story about some kids meeting a (Soviet, because we'd never do any such thing) killbot outside their fallout shelter - complete with glowing red nose, obvs - in some '80s or early '90s Analog, but damned if I still have it or can remember the author or title. Anyone know?

    • Ronald Pottol says:

      Well, sure, but the heat seeking missile is launched at a specific target, and the mine just sits there.

      Anti ship missile however often cruse with specific target, but turn on their targeting system when they reach a specific point, pick a target, and attack it.

      Still, these are limited systems, it is easy to imagine systems that are not.

      • James says:

        You may say that a mine is limited by its static physical position, but is it any more limited in the capacity to produce hatred?

        • gryazi says:

          Seems like the difference is the ability to offer surrender.

          In the naval and air cases, theoretically there's the opportunity for radio (or sonar?) contact.

          Drones have a human in the loop for now but unless you're carrying a white flag all the time (or even if you are), good luck with that.

          Mines are dumb and disgusting but that's "their fault" for entering the keep-out zone - like a highway in Iraq or Afghanistan, oops. (Except for the version that has a human in the loop with a trigger there, too.)

          So clearly to comply with US law we need RFID transceivers on these things that detect US passports and tootle your Miranda rights before they fire a warning shot leading to an 'accidental death in custody.' (Except we don't, becuse enh.)

          I'm just going to sit here and fantasize about a word that puts this much effort into anything that benefits people enough that they wouldn't be so pissed off and crazy. [Goes for "their side" too lest this come off as a "we should drop unicorns and rainbows" thing. Although the Farley comic with the MDMA canisters was a nice thought albeit verboten because you're only allowed to change "the enemy's" minds with deadly force and not party chemicals.]

          Hey, if the US does decriminalize the green stuff, can we at least drop brownies the way we used to hand out cigarettes?

  3. It depresses me that this is both plausible and necessary. I guess the grim meat hook future arrived while I wasn't paying attention.