UN to host first talks on killer robots

Geneva: The United Nations is set to host the first-ever talks on the use of autonomous weapons, but those hoping for a ban on the machines dubbed killer robots will be disappointed, the ambassador leading the discussions said on Friday.
More than 100 artificial intelligence entrepreneurs led by Tesla’s Elon Musk in August urged the UN to enforce a global ban on fully-automated weapons, echoing calls from activists who have warned the machines will put civilians at enormous risk.
A UN disarmament grouping known as the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) will on Monday hold five days of talks on the issue in Geneva.
But anything resembling a ban, or even a treaty, remains far off, said the Indian ambassador on disarmament, Amandeep Gill, who is chairing the meeting.
He said the discussion, which will also include civil society and technology companies, will be partly focused on understanding the types of weapons in the pipeline.
Proponents of a ban, including the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots pressure group, insist that human beings must ultimately be responsible for the final decision to kill or destroy.
They argue that any weapons system that delegates the decision on an individual strike to an algorithm is by definition illegal, because computers cannot be held accountable under international humanitarian law. — AFP