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ICRAC statement on the human control of weapons systems at the April 2018 CCW GGE

Posted on 11 April 2018 by

Category: Front Page, ICRAC News, News, Statements

International Committee for Robot Arms Control Statement to the UN GGE Meeting 2018 Delivered by Prof. Noel Sharkey, on 11 April 2018 Mr Chairperson, We have been very pleased with this morning’s session as states begin to contemplate a move towards policies on the human control of weapons systems. On a pedantic note: we cannot […] Continue Reading

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ICRAC Working Paper #3 (CCW GGE April 2018): Guidelines for the human control of weapons systems

Posted on 10 April 2018 by

Category: Analysis, ICRAC News, News, Working Papers

Guidelines for the human control of weapons systems [PDF] Authored by Noel Sharkey, chair of ICRAC[1] Since 2014, high contracting parties to the CCW have expressed interest and concern about the meaningful human control of weapons systems. There is an extensive scientific and engineering literature on the dynamics of human-machine interaction and human supervisory control […] Continue Reading

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Short ICRAC Statement at the April 2018 CCW GGE

Posted on 10 April 2018 by

Category: Front Page, ICRAC News, News, Statements

International Committee for Robot Arms Control Statement to the UN GGE Meeting 2018 Delivered by Prof. Noel Sharkey, on 10 April 2018 Mr. Chairperson, There have been very useful and interesting discussions this morning. I speak here as chair of an academic NGO: the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC) and as a member […] Continue Reading

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ICRAC Statement at the April 2018 CCW GGE

Posted on 09 April 2018 by

Category: Front Page, ICRAC News, News, Statements

International Committee for Robot Arms Control Statement to the UN GGE Meeting 2018 Delivered by Dr Thompson Chengeta, on 9 April 2018 Mr. Chairperson, I speak on behalf of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control [ICRAC], a founding member of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Ambassador Gill, we thank you for your important […] Continue Reading

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Unpriming the pump: Remystifications of AI at the UN’s Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

Posted on 08 April 2018 by

Category: Front Page, News, Opinion

*Originally published on the “Robot Futures Blog” In the lead up to the next meeting of the CCW’s Group of Governmental Experts at the United Nations April 9-13th in Geneva, the UN’s Institute for Disarmament Research has issued a briefing paper titled The Weaponization of Increasingly Autonomous Technologies: Artificial Intelligence. Designated a primer for CCW […] Continue Reading

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Frequently Asked Questions on LAWS

Posted on 11 November 2017 by

Category: News, Slider

Memorandum for delegates at the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) Meeting on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) Geneva, 13-17 November 2017 ICRAC is an international not-for-profit association of scientists, technologists, lawyers and policy experts committed to the peaceful use of robotics and the regulation of robot weapons. Please visit our […] Continue Reading

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ICRAC and the responsible robotics revolution

Posted on 28 January 2016 by

Category: ICRAC News, News

ICRAC works for the regulation of robotic weapon systems and is committed to the peaceful use of robotic technology. To further pursue this latter goal, ICRAC’s Noel Sharkey co-founded the Foundation for Responsible Robotics. In a recently published piece on Research Fortnight, Sharkey and Aimee van Wynsberghe write: The robotics revolution will have a disruptive […] Continue Reading

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ICRAC Video: Peaceful Uses of Robotics and Banning LAWS

Posted on 12 November 2015 by

Category: ICRAC News, Media, News, Slider, Statements, YouTube video

Stop the Killer Robots from Kamille Rodriguez on Vimeo. The video explains that a ban on killer robots would not have negative impacts on the development of other robotics applications and research. It was created for ICRAC by digital animation artist Kamille Rodriguez: http://www.kamillerodriguez.com/   Continue Reading

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Icelandic research institute shuns autonomous weapons

Posted on 02 September 2015 by

Category: News

The Icelandic Institute for Intelligent Machines (IIIM) has issued an ethical policy that makes them the first Artificial Intelligence research and development group to reject the development of technologies intended for military operations. IIIM is an independent research institute affiliated with Reykjavik University in Reykjavik, Iceland “It is only fitting that a research center in Iceland […] Continue Reading

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Model United Nations Urges Ban on Killer Robots

Posted on 06 April 2015 by

Category: ICRAC in the media, News

UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon “energized” by students’ “serious discussions” on autonomous weapons systems In less than two weeks, diplomats from around the world will gather at the United Nations in Geneva to discuss potential global regulations on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” that would be able to select and attack targets without direct human control. But […] Continue Reading

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Our robotic future: The hopes and worries of 10 year old Bethany

Posted on 21 March 2015 by

Category: ICRAC News, News, YouTube video

Ten year old Bethany Clifford-Tait is concerned about a future that includes autonomous weapons systems aka ‘killer robots’. Such were her worries that she wrote to the producers of the oldest and most popular BBC children’s programme Blue Peter to ask them to spread the word to other children across the country in one of […] Continue Reading

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ICRAC welcomes UN CCW decision for 2015 Expert Meeting on LAWS

Posted on 14 November 2014 by

Category: ICRAC News, News

ICRAC welcomes the decision by the 2014 UN CCW High Contracting Parties Meeting to keep discussing “lethal autonomous weapon systems” (LAWS). From the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots Website: The decision is an important acknowledgement of the legal, technical, ethical, operational, and societal concerns that have been raised. The broad consensus expressed for continuing the talks shows […] Continue Reading

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Canada’s leading robot company rejects ‘killer robots’ — updated!

Posted on 14 August 2014 by

Category: News, YouTube video

Hi-Tech Canadian Robotics company, Clearpath, today issued a statement pledging not to manufacture autonomous weapons systems despite their commercial advantage and they urged other companies to follow suit: “those who might see business opportunities in this technology to seek other ways to apply their skills and resources for the betterment of humankind.” ICRAC applauds the […] Continue Reading

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Is Russia Leading the World to Autonomous Weapons?

Posted on 06 May 2014 by

Category: Analysis, News

The short answer is no. But Russia is testing and may deploy at its ICBM bases a lethal mobile system which has “automatic and semi-automatic control modes.” Additionally, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has recently called for “robotic systems that are fully integrated in the command and control system, capable not only to gather intelligence […] Continue Reading

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ICRAC Delivers Statement to States Parties to the Convention on Conventional Weapons at the UN in Geneva

Posted on 14 November 2013 by

Category: ICRAC News, News, Statements

International Community Must Act Now to Ensure Combat Will Never Be Outsourced to “Killer Robots”! — I am speaking on behalf of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC), a founding NGO member of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Since its establishment in 2009, ICRAC has urged the international community to discuss the […] Continue Reading

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News Roundup: Banning Lethal Autonomous Robots

Posted on 31 October 2013 by

Category: ICRAC in the media, ICRAC News, News

Over the last couple of months, lethal autonomous robots (LARs) went from a sidelined issue to not only a hotly and widely debated topic but most importantly an official item of United Nations (UN) arms control diplomacy. This post provides an overview over recent media coverage as well as events and statements given at the UN. The […] Continue Reading

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Computing experts from 37 countries call for ban on killer robots

Computing experts from 37 countries call for ban on killer robots

Posted on 16 October 2013 by

Category: ICRAC News, News

Decision to apply violent force must not be delegated to machines! More than 270 engineers, computing and artificial intelligence experts, roboticists, and professionals from related disciplines are calling for a ban on the development and deployment of weapon systems that make the decision to apply violent force autonomously, without any human control. In a statement […] Continue Reading

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A meme is born: autonomous = secure

Posted on 11 October 2013 by

Category: Analysis, News

One of Joshua Foust’s assertions in his debate with Heather Roff was that making weapons autonomous was necessary in order to secure them against the threat of hacking. I posted a response after Foustreiterated this surprising argument, and provided a few scraps of pseudo-evidence to support it, in an article which seems to have gone semi-viral on the internet–launching what seems […] Continue Reading

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ICRAC’s Heather Roff debates Joshua Foust

Posted on 10 October 2013 by

Category: ICRAC in the media, News

Naval Postgraduate School CRUSER Robo-Ethics Continuing Education Series (RECES) Robo-Ethics Panelist Debate (Part 3) Continue Reading

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US killer robot policy: Full speed ahead

Posted on 22 September 2013 by

Category: Analysis, Front Page, News, Opinion

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 […] Continue Reading

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Everyone is a target

Posted on 12 August 2013 by

Category: ICRAC in the media, ICRAC News, Media, News, YouTube video

A new short documentary (8 minutes) by Amy Kohn – Autonomous Weapons: everyone is a target – features members of ICRAC giving the reason why we need to move forward with an international legally binding treaty to prohibit research, use and development of autonomous weapons – weapons that once activated can select targets and kill […] Continue Reading

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ICRAC Working Paper Series launched

Posted on 31 May 2013 by

Category: News, Working Papers

Today, ICRAC launches its new series of working papers. In ICRAC Working Paper #2 (#1 is to follow suit in the near future), Mark Gubrud and Juergen Altmann present “Compliance Measures for an Autonomous Weapons Convention”, inter alia containing a first conceptual sketch about how to implement technical verification measures to ensure human control and […] Continue Reading

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Engineers strongly favour a total ban on killer robots

Posted on 01 May 2013 by

Category: News

Following on from my recent article in The Engineer magazine asking engineers to say “no” to killer robots, they conducted a poll to find out what engineers thought. They wanted to know if they supported our campaign to ban killer robots. We at ICRAC, with a number of other NGOs, are calling for a new […] Continue Reading

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The Role of ICRAC in the Arms Trade Treaty Negotiations

Posted on 09 April 2013 by

Category: Analysis, ICRAC News, News, Opinion

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 […] Continue Reading

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Arms Control for Uninhabited Vehicles: A Detailed Study

Posted on 02 April 2013 by

Category: Analysis, News, Opinion

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 […] Continue Reading

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Death by algorithm is the ultimate indignity says 2 star general

Posted on 18 March 2013 by

Category: News

Former Majory General Robert H. Latiff (and Patrick J. McCloskey) has stood up to be counted against the coming autonomous lethal robots. Latiff and McCloskey point out the military benefits of the autonomous machines and then comes the but… The problem is that robotic weapons eventually will make kill decisions on the battlefield with no […] Continue Reading

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Smart Robots? Perhaps not smart enough to be called stupid.

Posted on 18 March 2013 by

Category: Analysis, ICRAC in the media, News, Opinion

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 […] Continue Reading

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If Big Dog is a supply robot, then why is it throwing concrete blocks?

If Big Dog is a supply robot, then why is it throwing concrete blocks?

Posted on 15 March 2013 by

Category: News, YouTube video

The impressive ‘big dog’ robot by Boston Dynamics was ostensibly designed as a robust mule to carry supplies to the front line without putting soldiers in danger. So why then, have robot grippers been added so that it can throw concrete blocks for some distance? It’s not for shelf stacking – that’s for sure. Continue Reading

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Obama administration admits that drone confrontations could unintentionally trigger hostilities

Obama administration admits that drone confrontations could unintentionally trigger hostilities

Posted on 15 March 2013 by

Category: Analysis, News, YouTube video

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 […] Continue Reading

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US can’t make up its mind about the medal of droner

Posted on 14 March 2013 by

Category: Analysis, News

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 […] Continue Reading

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No room for the buzzing of the drones on the big rock candy mountain

Posted on 14 March 2013 by

Category: Analysis, News

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 […] Continue Reading

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A call for engineers to stop autonomous killing machines now.

Posted on 12 March 2013 by

Category: Analysis, News

In this month’s ‘The Engineer’, a magazine for engineers, I published an article calling upon engineers to help with a ban on autonomous lethal weapons. They titled my article “say no to killer robots” which was more direct than my own title of “stop autonomous killing machines now”.   “This is a call to engineers […] Continue Reading

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If the US president can order the assassination of Americans overseas, what are the limits to his power?

Posted on 11 March 2013 by

Category: Analysis, News

An article published in the New York Times (March 9 2013) gives great insight into the targeting of US citizens abroad. For the first time we get details of intelligence gathering and the enormous resources that the CIA used to track down and kill US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki. The article talks about one bungled attempt […] Continue Reading

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Job adverts point to the US planning drone strikes controlled from the UK

Posted on 10 March 2013 by

Category: Analysis, News

The Mail on Sunday has found two job adverts from the US Air Force asking for a communication systems administrator analyst and a systems administrator with operational experience with Predator Drones. Nothing odd about this until you find out that they are to work at RAF Waddington in the UK – ouch! The adverts say […] Continue Reading

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Code Pink brings chocolates and flowers to the tea party.

Posted on 10 March 2013 by

Category: Analysis, News

When drone extremist John Brennan’s appointment to Chief of the CIA was delayed by 13 hours by filibuster, Senator Paul Rand, accolades came from an unexpected source. As pointed out by the New York Times, ‘In Washington, Code Pink, a leftist group of antiwar activists, showed up with flowers and chocolates at Mr. Paul’s Senate […] Continue Reading

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Robot warriors: Lethal machines coming of age

Posted on 06 March 2013 by

Category: Analysis, News

The BBC News Magazine published an article that pits Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams and Peter “Wired for War” Singer against Henric Christensen and Ron Arkin from Georgia Institute of Technology. Henrick Christensen’s project funded by defence contractor BAE systems is used as an example of how autonomous robots may be used in conflict. The […] Continue Reading

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Killer robots must be stopped, say campaigners

Posted on 06 March 2013 by

Category: ICRAC in the media, News

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots was announced by Tracy McVeigh in the Sunday Newspaper the Observer on 24th February. This has created large positive media interest ahead of our the campaign to be launched in April this year. From the Observer: “Killer robots must be stopped, say campaigners A new global campaign to persuade […] Continue Reading

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DoD Directive on Autonomy in Weapon Systems

Posted on 27 November 2012 by

Category: Analysis, News

On Nov. 21, as news of Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) “Losing Humanity” report was spreading, the Department of Defense quietly released Directive 3000.09 “for the development and use of autonomous and semi-autonomous functions in weapon systems”, making the United States the first nation to have an official policy statement on autonomous weapon systems (AWS). The […] Continue Reading

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Civil Society Wins the Discursive Victory, Despite Collapse of Arms Trade Treaty Conference

Posted on 30 July 2012 by

Category: Analysis, News

After a month of procedural wrangling, intense lobbying, heavy campaigning and frantic late night negotiations, the Arms Trade Treaty conference came to a frayed inconclusive end last Friday as skeptical states like China, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba, joined by the United States, called for more time to complete what they saw as an […] Continue Reading

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Draft Arms Trade Treaty Omits Explicit Reference to ‘Unmanned’ Weapons

Posted on 25 July 2012 by

Category: Analysis, News

On Tuesday morning, 24 July, the chair of the Diplomatic Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) released his long-awaited draft of an international instrument to regulate the trade in conventional weapons. Unfortunately, as I explain in my commentary piece for Global Policy today, the draft treaty is…well…drafty. There are several major holes in the […] Continue Reading

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Execution via Mouseclick

Posted on 24 July 2012 by

Category: Media, News

On July 23 2012, the German public radio SWR2 ran a 45-minute discussion on Obama’s drone warfare with ICRAC’s Niklas Schoernig as one of the experts on air. More information for the German speaking visitors of our site, as provided by the SWR2 website:   Hinrichtung per Mausklick – Sendung vom Montag, 23.7. | 17.05 […] Continue Reading

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2,100 page CENTCOM report on Afghan casualties of US drone strikes

Posted on 19 April 2012 by

Category: News

A report released by US Central Command on 22 March 2012 – an excerpt of 5 pages can be found here – contains interesting and unsettling insights into the targeting practice of drone pilots, with one Captain supposed to act as a safety observer noting the “Top Gun” mentality of some drone pilots, and Predator […] Continue Reading

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DARPA Cheetah Sets Speed Record for Legged Robots

DARPA Cheetah Sets Speed Record for Legged Robots

Posted on 07 March 2012 by

Category: News

This video released by DARPA, the far-out Pentagon’s research agency, shows “Cheetah” breaking the speed record for legged robots. Cheetah is made by Boston Dynamics, the company that developed BigDog, AlphaDog, and PETMAN. This is what ICRAC’s Noel Sharkey has to say about it on the BBC website: “With faster than human speed, this is […] Continue Reading

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US Navy Developing Pilotless Drones

Posted on 04 March 2012 by

Category: News

From the January 26, 2012 Los Angeles Times, “New drone has no pilot anywhere, so who’s accountable?” by W.J. Hennigan The X-47B marks a paradigm shift in warfare, one that is likely to have far-reaching consequences. With the drone’s ability to be flown autonomously by onboard computers, it could usher in an era when death […] Continue Reading

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AP report: 30% of Pakistan drone strike dead not “militants”

Posted on 25 February 2012 by

Category: News

The Associated Press reports  that an “on-the-ground investigation” it conducted in North Waziristan of “10 of the deadliest [drone] attacks in the past 18 months”  found that  “of at least 194 people killed in the attacks, about 70 percent – at least 138 – were militants.  The remaining 56 were either civilians or tribal police,” […] Continue Reading

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