Friday 17 December 2021
Drones and missiles with artificial intelligence
Countries do not reject “killer robots”
According to the coalition agreement, the new federal government is striving for an international ban on lethal weapons systems that have been separated from humans. More than a hundred countries are meeting in Geneva to discuss this matter. In the end, there is a compromise in the interest of countries with large arms manufacturers.
The fight for clear barriers to autonomous weapons systems – so-called killer robots – will continue next year. Despite the opposition of Russia and other countries, it was not possible in Geneva to issue a mandate for negotiations on a treaty or any other legally binding instrument. The discussions were conducted by 125 States Parties to a certain Conventional Weapons Convention. You can only decide unanimously.
They simply decided to allow the working group of experts formed in 2014 to continue working. There is no specific purpose for the conversations. “This result, of course, is a settlement that cannot satisfy everyone, including us,” said German disarmament ambassador Thomas Goebel. “We see the decision as a mandate for the government group of experts to agree on specific measures to deal with these weapons systems in the coming year,” he added.
Dozens of countries want to ban autonomous weapons. It is about systems – missiles or drones, for example – that are not decisively controlled by human hands and, with the help of artificial intelligence, learn how to set their sights and attack their targets. But a meeting in Geneva in 2019 ended in a wake. Countries with large arms manufacturers oppose the barriers, including Russia, the United States, and Israel. According to the coalition agreement, the new federal government is striving to impose a binding international ban on lethal weapons systems that have been separated from humans.
The Stop Killer Robots Alliance was shocked. Hope to move forward within the Convention on Conventional Weapons has faded. It all boils down to starting a separate ban. Activists have succeeded in doing something like this with landmines and cluster munitions. Today they are practically banned all over the world. Diplomats warn that banning dozens of countries for independent weapons that they do not manufacture themselves will be of little help. As long as the countries working on it do not exist, it will be of little use.