The United States military is relying on the development of killer robot technologies. From robotic dogs with gigantic rifles to unmanned drone volleys, the recent trend has become increasingly unnerving.
With activist groups like Stop Killer Robots fighting against technological “dehumanisation”, there's been pressure on governments to ban dangerous robots. However, the United States government isn't stopping anytime soon.
United States vs Killer Robot Ban
Reported by The Guardian, the United States has refused the United Nations’ call for a complete ban on “Killer Robots”. During a recent meeting in Geneva, a U.S. official reportedly dismissed the idea of imposing bans and regulations.
Instead of crafting a “legally-binding instrument” on robotic regulation, U.S. official Josh Dorosin proposed an alternative. Dorsin reportedly said: “In our view, the best way to make progress ... would be through the development of a non-binding code of conduct.”
Dorsin believes that this will “ help states promote responsible behaviour and compliance with international law”. Additionally, it would allow the United States military to continue its development of its robotic weapons.
However, many are not sold on Dorsin’s idea. Alongside the activist campaigns, United Nations officials are still looking to impose heavy regulations on the weapons technologies. For example, UN chief, António Guterres has been attempting to ban the use of robotics in war since 2018.
The view of activists
While the reasons for world leaders rejecting killer robot bans are very transparent, what about the activists fighting against it? In the mind of Stop Killer Robots, the goal is to stop autonomy from stripping away life.
For starters, the activist group argues that killer robots add an uncomfortable level of dehumanisation into warfare. Additionally, problematic biases that plague these robots’ artificial intelligence leads to unacceptable margins for error.