As of 2017, 125 nations have pledged to honor the convention’s resolutions, including all five permanent members of the UN Security Council — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is hosting a series of meetings at this year's event to propose a worldwide ban on lethal autonomous weapons, which could potentially be developed as flying drones, self-driving tanks, or automated sentry guns. While no nation or state is openly deploying such weaponry, it's widely assumed that various military groups around the world are developing lethal weapons powered by artificial intelligence.
Advocates for a ban on lethal, autonomous weapons argue there is a clear moral imperative: Machines should never decide when a human lives or dies.
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The technologies depicted in the short film are all based on viable systems that are up and running today, such as facial recognition, automated targeting, and weaponized aerial drones.
“This short film is more than just speculation,” said Stuart Russell, professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, and a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence. “It shows the results of integrating and miniaturizing technologies we already have.”
Representatives from more than 70 states are expected to attend the Geneva meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems this week, according to a statement from the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Representatives from the scientific and technical communities will be stating their case to the assembled delegates.
“Allowing machines to choose to kill humans will be devastating to our security and our freedom,” Russell says in a short commentary at the end of the video. “Thousands of my fellow researchers agree. We have an opportunity to prevent the future you just saw, but the window to act is closing fast.”
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