On Monday, November 13, a UN meeting was held in Geneva on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its topic of discussion: Autonomous drones. The CCW is a UN organization with the responsibility of restricting “the use of weapons deemed to be indiscriminate or excessively injurious”, and with the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) it has become very clear that actions must be taken to curb the worrying fusion of intelligent machines and modern weapons. Delegates from several countries met in Geneva to discuss how to quell many people’s fears of these autonomous drones, or how to outright restrict its proliferation. Similar to many other Geneva banned or restricted weapons, LAWS may become one of them.
LAWS or Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems are defined as a type of military robot designed to select and attack military targets without intervention by human operators, but many could simply define these a robotic soldiers. Killer Robots have been a horrifying idea for science fiction writers for years, however only now it has become apparent that this once far fetched idea is very much possible and approaching faster and faster. The United States already uses drones in substitute for piloted Jets on raids in the Middle East and this practice will only expand and increase. In a world where human lives are valued more than ever before and a new, experimental type weapon is beginning to see wide use, machines may become tomorrow’s soldiers.