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LAWS: An Open Letter from AI & Robotics Experts (UPDATED Dec. 2016)

Thousands of experts in artificial intelligence, robotics and related professions have signed an open letter, hosted by the Future of Life Institute, calling for a ban on autonomous weapons that select and engage targets without human intervention. You can read more on the importance of this letter to the current global effort of banning lethal […]

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Model United Nations Urges Ban on Killer Robots

Click here to read this post in braille UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon “energized” by students’ “serious discussions” on autonomous weapons systems   In less than two weeks, diplomats from around the world will gather at the United Nations in Geneva to discuss potential global regulations on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” that would be able to […]

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Campaign to Stop Killer Robots takes significant step forward at UN

ICRAC welcomes the historic decision taken by nations to begin international discussions on how to address the challenges posed by fully autonomous weapons. The agreement marks the beginning of a process that the campaign believes should lead to an international ban on these weapons to ensure there will always be meaningful human control over targeting decisions […]

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News Roundup: Banning Lethal Autonomous Robots

Over the last couple of months, lethal autonomous robots (LARs) went from a sidelined issue to not only a hotly and widely debated topic but most importantly an official item of United Nations (UN) arms control diplomacy. This post provides an overview over recent media coverage as well as events and statements given at the UN. The […]

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ICRAC Member and Campaign to Stop Killer Robots Deliver Statements at the UN General Assembly First Committee

On behalf of global civil society organizations, International Committee for Robot Arms Control member Matthew Bolton calls for disarmament and arms control “driven by the needs and rights of people most affected by armed violence.” The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots also spoke, calling for fully autonomous weapons to “be prohibited through an international treaty, […]

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Everyone is a target

A new short documentary (8 minutes) by Amy Kohn – Autonomous Weapons: everyone is a target – features members of ICRAC giving the reason why we need to move forward with an international legally binding treaty to prohibit research, use and development of autonomous weapons – weapons that once activated can select targets and kill […]

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Smart Robots? Perhaps not smart enough to be called stupid.

The New York Times has entered the discussion about the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Columnist Bill Keller has produced a well balanced article that looks at the pros and cons of a ban. For the ban, he notes that The arguments against developing fully autonomous weapons, as they are called, range from moral (“they […]

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Killer robots must be stopped, say campaigners

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots was announced by Tracy McVeigh in the Sunday Newspaper the Observer on 24th February. This has created large positive media interest ahead of our the campaign to be launched in April this year. From the Observer: “Killer robots must be stopped, say campaigners A new global campaign to persuade […]

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The rational approach to the inhumanity of automating death by machines

Three days after the publication of the Human Rights Watch Report: Losing our Humanity: The case against killer robots, the US Department of Defence issued a directive that gave clearance for the development of autonomous weapons: weapons that once launched can select and engage targets without further intervention. Here is my response on the relationship […]

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Drone race will ultimately lead to a sanitised factory of slaughter

This is a link to an article that I wrote for the Guardian Newspaper in August 2012 which I think is becoming more relevant as we progress towards a campaign to stop killer robots. It describes the progression from current drone technology to the new fully autonomous weapons that are described in the Human Rights […]

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Economist: Robots go to War

On June 2nd 2012, ICRAC is tagged in a lengthy article by The Economist, with a quote be ICRAC’s Juergen Altmann: Pressure will grow for armies to automate their robots if only so machines can shoot before being shot, says Jürgen Altmann of the Technical University of Dortmund, in Germany, and a founder of the […]

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Guardian: Attack of the drones

On Sunday 16 January 2011, the Guardian reports on the multi-purpose use of drones, from police enforcement to paparazzi and, obviously, in war zones. In this regard… Noel Sharkey, professor of robotics and artificial intelligence at Sheffield University, told the Royal Society meeting there are credible estimates that one in three casualties from drone attacks […]

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Popular Science: The Terminator Scenario

Are We Giving Our Military Machines Too Much Power?, Popular science asks, quoting ICRAC’s Noel Sharkey: As quickly as countries build these systems, they want to deploy them, says Noel Sharkey, a professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield in England: “There’s been absolutely no international discussion. It’s all going forward […]

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Observer: Rise of the Robots and the Future of War

Sunday 21 November 2010, the Observer reports on the technological development in unmanned systems, quoting ICARC’s Noel Sharkey. He … … says it is impossible for autonomous robots today to distinguish reliably between civilians and combatants, a cornerstone of international humanitarian law. He also believes robots lack the subtle judgment to adhere to another humanitarian […]

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Guardian: Campaigners call for tighter controls of deadly drones

On Thursday 16 September 2010, the Guardian reports on ICRAC’s meeting in Berlin on the rapid proliferation of military drone planes and armed robots and possible arms control measures to curb this development, quoting ICRAC’s Steve Wright: “We need a new treaty to limit proliferation. All the arms fairs now are selling UAVs. It’s naive […]

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heise online: Verbot autonomer Kampfroboter gefordert

The German technology website “heise online” reports on ICRAC’s meeting in Berlin. The full text – in German – of the article can be found here. ICRAC’s Berlin Statement can be found here.

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Der Spiegel: Kampfroboter

The German weekly news magazine “Der Spiegel” reports on ICRAC’s meeting in Berlin. The full text – in German – of the article can be found here. ICRAC’s Berlin Statement can be found here.

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The Eagle: War Machines Mith Minds

A short piece on how “[t]echnology takes our minds by surprise again”, qoting ICRAC’s Noel Sharkey and touching on the issue that “humans can be held accountable, machines can’t.” The full text of the article can be found here.

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New York Times: War Machines

27 November 2010, the New York Times reports on ICRAC’s meeting in Berlin. Last month in Germany, an international group including artificial intelligence researchers, arms control specialists, human rights advocates and government officials called for agreements to limit the development and use of tele-operated and autonomous weapons. The group, known as the International Committee for […]

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IRF: ICRAC’s Juergen Altmann on unmanned systems and arms control

On 7 March 2010, the Austrian “Institut für Religion und Frieden” published an extensive interview with ICARC’s Juergen Altmann. He sums up ICRAC’s critical stance on the recent developments in unmanned systems: We are worried by the accelerating trend to arm uninhabited military vehicles, by the high numbers of non-combatants killed in present US and […]

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Allvoices: The ethical and moral concerns of autonomous robotic systems

On 13 February 2010, Allvoices published a piece that discusses why military robotics is on the rise, quoting ICRAC’s Noel Sharkey and also referring to other ICRAC members and their critical stance: There are several reasons why the Department of Defense is shifting its focus away from conventional weapons and towards highly advanced robotic systems. […]

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New Scientist: Campaign asks for international treaty to limit war robots

On 30 September 2009, New Scientist reports on Noel Sharkey, Juergen Altmann, Peter Asaro and Rob Sparrow founding ICRAC. A robotics expert, a physicist, a bioethicist and a philosopher have founded the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC) to campaign for limits on robotic military hardware. Roboticist Noel Sharkey at the University of Sheffield, […]

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Popular Science: No Nuke-Wielding Bots in Space, Pleads New Robot Arms Control Committee

Popular Science reports on ICRAC being founded: A newly formed International Committee on Robot Arms Control (ICRAC) has asked nations to ban military bots from space and prevent robots from toting nuclear weapons. No doubt, human characters from science fiction stories such as “Battlestar Galactica” and “Terminator” might agree. The full text can be found […]

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ISN Security Watch: Robot Wars – The Hal Factor

ISN Security Watch reports on current developments in military unmanned systems and also mentions ICRAC being founded to investigate how some of these armed systems could be limited, perhaps even prohibited, if necessary. The full text can be found here.

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BotJunkie: International Committee for Robot Arms Control Is Well Intentioned But Kinda Ridiculous

The self proclaimed “best robotics blog on the Net!” critically comments in ICRAC’s founding. Noel Sharkey replies, and BotJunkie’s Evan Ackerman addresses Noel in turn. This discussion is well worth a read. The full text can be found here.

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