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NYT warns of killer robot gap


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Posted on 29 September 2013
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by Mark Gubrud

New York Times science writer John Markoff reported on Sept.23 that the US military “lags” in development of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), which is sort of true if you compare the status of UGVs with that of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). The real reason, as Markoff acknowledges, has to do with the technical difficulty of locomotion on […]
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doom-thumb

US killer robot policy: Full speed ahead


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Posted on 22 September 2013
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by Mark Gubrud

In November 2012, United States Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter signed directive 3000.09, establishing policy for the “design, development, acquisition, testing, fielding, and … application of lethal or non-lethal, kinetic or non-kinetic, force by autonomous or semi-autonomous weapon systems.”  Without fanfare, the world had its first openly declared national policy for killer robots. The policy has […]
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The Politics of Killer Robots: Experts Consider Political, Legal and Ethical Implications of Drones and Other Robotic Weapons at Pace University Symposium

The Politics of Killer Robots: Experts Consider Political, Legal and Ethical Implications of Drones and Other Robotic Weapons at Pace University Symposium


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Posted on 30 August 2013
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by mbolton

Not all conduct is justified in war. Centuries of tradition – from religious texts to chivalry and honor codes to modern international humanitarian and human rights law – have limited what weapons armed groups can use, who and what they can target and where and when they may fight. Each new innovation in military technologies and techniques […]
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Foust’s case for killer robots engaged: Autonomous weapons are no phantom menace


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Posted on 21 June 2013
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by Mark Gubrud

ForeignPolicy.com blogger Joshua Foust announced on May 14 that he’d identified a “liberal” case for killer robots, including the seemingly incompatible assessments that they could “do it better”, where “it” means make the decision to kill, and that they are but a “phantom” (therefore not demanding of a serious response, such as discussion of a treaty). Foreign Policy has […]
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546545-armstreaty

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The Role of ICRAC in the Arms Trade Treaty Negotiations


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Posted on 09 April 2013
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by mbolton

Last week the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to adopt the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which will aim to constrain the flow of conventional weapons to states and organizations that threaten peace and security or engage in gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law. Several members of the International Committee for Robot Arms […]
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Arms Control for Uninhabited Vehicles: A Detailed Study


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Posted on 02 April 2013
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by altmann

In a detailed scientific article just published online, physicist and peace researcher Jürgen Altmann (TU Dortmund, Germany) explains that armed uninhabited vehicles (on land, on/under water, in the air) do not exist in a legal vacuum.   For example, they must not be equipped with biological or chemical weapons. In Europe most land and air […]
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Smart Robots? Perhaps not smart enough to be called stupid.


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Posted on 18 March 2013
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by nsharkey

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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Obama administration admits that drone confrontations could unintentionally trigger hostilities

Obama administration admits that drone confrontations could unintentionally trigger hostilities


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Posted on 15 March 2013
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by nsharkey

CNN yesterday reported a confrontation between an Iranian F-4 fighter jet and a predator drone.  But given the November 2012 incident between Iranian fighter jets and a predator, the drones are now routinely accompanied by US military planes. The Iranian F-4 turned away after a verbal warning was issued by one of two US fighter […]
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US can’t make up its mind about the medal of droner


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Posted on 14 March 2013
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by nsharkey

Before he retired from his job as US Secretary of defence, Leon Panetta announced a new ‘distinguished warfare medal to be given to drone pilots who sit thousand miles away from the action. This upset many service people and their families because it has a higher ranking than the ‘bronze star’. The bronze star has […]
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No room for the buzzing of the drones on the big rock candy mountain


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Posted on 14 March 2013
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by nsharkey

An article in yesterdays Globe and Mail (Canada) emphasized the psychological impact of drone strikes combined with noisy surveillance. Something that is often overlooked is the impact on civilians of the constant buzzing of drones overhead. They may be mainly used  for surveillance but even the occasional strike means that no one knows if the […]
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