Showing posts with label Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Show all posts

Artificial Intelligence - What Is The Stop Killer Robots Campaign?


The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is a non-profit organization devoted to mobilize and campaign against the development and deployment of deadly autonomous weapon systems (LAWS).

The campaign's main issue is that armed robots making life-or-death decisions undercut legal and ethical restraints on violence in human conflicts.

Advocates for LAWS argue that these technologies are compatible with current weapons and regulations, such as cruise missiles that are planned and fired by humans to hunt out and kill a specific target.

Advocates also say that robots are completely reliant on people, that they are bound by their design and must perform the behaviors that have been assigned to them, and that with appropriate monitoring, they may save lives by substituting humans in hazardous situations.

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots dismisses responsible usage as a viable option, stating fears that the development of LAWS could result in a new arms race.

The advertisement underlines the danger of losing human control over the use of lethal force in situations when armed robots identify and remove a threat before human intervention is feasible.

Human Rights Watch, an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) that promotes fundamental human rights and investigates violations of those rights, organized and managed the campaign, which was officially launched on April 22, 2013, in London, England.

Many member groups make up the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, including the International Committee for Robot Arms Control and Amnesty International.

A steering group and a worldwide coordinator are in charge of the campaign's leadership.

As of 2018, the steering committee consists of eleven non-governmental organizations.

Mary Wareham, who formerly headed international efforts to ban land mines and cluster bombs, is the campaign's worldwide coordinator.

Efforts to ban armed robots, like those to ban land mines and cluster bombs, concentrate on their potential to inflict needless suffering and indiscriminate damage to humans.

The United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), which originally went into force in 1983, coordinates the worldwide ban of weapons.

Because the CCW has yet to agree on a ban on armed robots, and because the CCW lacks any mechanism for enforcing agreed-upon restrictions, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots calls for the inclusion of LAWS in the CCW.

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots also promotes the adoption of new international treaties to implement more preemptive restrictions.

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots offers tools for educating and mobilizing the public, including multimedia databases, campaign reports, and a mailing list, in addition to lobbying governing authorities for treaty and convention prohibitions.

The Campaign also seeks the participation of technological businesses, requesting that they refuse to participate in the creation of LAWS on their own will.

The @BanKillerRobots account on Twitter is where the Campaign keeps track of and broadcasts the names of companies that have pledged not to engage in the creation or marketing of intelligent weapons.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want to read more about Artificial Intelligence here.

See also: 

Autonomous Weapons Systems, Ethics of; Battlefield AI and Robotics; Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems.

Further Reading

Baum, Seth. 2015. “Stopping Killer Robots and Other Future Threats.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, February 22, 2015.

Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. 2020.

Carpenter, Charli. 2016. “Rethinking the Political / -Science- / Fiction Nexus: Global Policy Making and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.” Perspectives on Politics 14, no. 1 (March): 53–69.

Docherty, Bonnie. 2012. Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots. New York: Human Rights Watch.

Garcia, Denise. 2015. “Killer Robots: Why the US Should Lead the Ban.” Global Policy6, no. 1 (February): 57–63.

Artificial Intelligence - What Is The Asilomar Conference On Beneficial AI?


The Asilomar Meeting on Beneficial AI has most prominently portrayed social concerns around artificial intelligence and danger to people via Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics.

"A robot may not damage a human being or, by inactivity, enable a human being to come to harm; A robot must follow human instructions unless such orders would contradict with the First Law; A robot must safeguard its own existence unless such protection would clash with the First or Second Law" (Asimov 1950, 40).

In subsequent books, Asimov added a Fourth Law or Zeroth Law, which is often quoted as "A robot may not hurt mankind, or, by inactivity, enable humanity to come to harm," and is detailed in Robots and Empire by the robot character Daneel Olivaw (Asimov 1985, chapter 18).

Asimov's zeroth rule sparked debate on how to judge whether or not something is harmful to mankind.

This was the topic of the 2017 Asilomar Conference on Beneficial AI, which went beyond the Three Laws and the Zeroth Law to propose twenty-three principles to protect mankind in the future of AI.

The conference's sponsor, the Future of Life Institute, has posted the principles on its website and has received 3,814 signatures from AI experts and other multidisciplinary supporters.

There are three basic kinds of principles: research questions, ethics and values, and long-term concerns.

These research guidelines are intended to guarantee that the aims of artificial intelligence continue to be helpful to people.

They're meant to help investors decide where to put their money in AI research.

To achieve useful AI, Asilomar signatories con incline that research agendas should encourage and preserve openness and conversation between AI researchers, policymakers, and developers.

Researchers interested in the development of artificial intelligence systems should work together to prioritize safety.

Proposed concepts relating to ethics and values are aimed to prevent damage and promote direct human control over artificial intelligence systems.

Parties to the Asilomar principles believe that AI should reflect human values such as individual rights, freedoms, and diversity acceptance.

Artificial intelligences, in particular, should respect human liberty and privacy, and should only be used to empower and enrich humanity.

Human social and civic norms must be adhered to by AI.

The Asilomar signatories believe that AI creators should be held accountable for their work.

One aspect that stands out is the likelihood of an autonomous weapons arms race.

Because of the high stakes, the designers of the Asilomar principles incorporated principles that addressed longer-term challenges.

They advised prudence, meticulous planning, and human supervision.

Superintelligences must be produced for the wider welfare of mankind, and not merely to further the aims of one industry or government.

The Asilomar Conference's twenty-three principles have sparked ongoing discussions about the need for beneficial AI and specific safeguards for the future of AI and humanity.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want to read more about Artificial Intelligence here.

See also: 

Accidents and Risk Assessment; Asimov, Isaac; Autonomous Weapons Systems, Ethics of; Campaign to Stop Killer Robots; Robot Ethics.

Further Reading

Asilomar AI Principles. 2017.

Asimov, Isaac. 1950. “Runaround.” In I, Robot, 30–47. New York: Doubleday.

Asimov, Isaac. 1985. Robots and Empire. New York: Doubleday.

Sarangi, Saswat, and Pankaj Sharma. 2019. Artificial Intelligence: Evolution, Ethics, and Public Policy. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Artificial Intelligence - Ethics Of Autonomous Weapons Systems.


Autonomous weapons systems (AWS) are armaments that are designed to make judgments without the constant input of their programmers.

Navigation, target selection, and when to attack opposing fighters are just a few of the decisions that must be made.

Because of the imminence of this technology, numerous ethical questions and arguments have arisen regarding whether it should be developed and how it should be utilized.

The technology's seeming inevitability prompted Human Rights Watch to launch a campaign in 2013 called "Stop Killer Robots," which pushes for universal bans on their usage.

This movement continues to exist now.

Other academics and military strategists point to AWS' strategic and resource advantages as reasons for continuing to develop and use them.

A discussion of whether it is desirable or feasible to construct an international agreement on their development and/or usage is central to this argument.

Those who advocate for further technological advancement in these areas focus on the advantages that a military power can gain from using AWS.

These technologies have the potential to reduce collateral damage, battle casualties, the capacity to minimize needless risk, more efficient military operations, reduced psychological harm to troops from war, and armies with declining human numbers.

In other words, they concentrate on the advantages of the weapon to the military that will use it.

The essential assumption in these discussions is that the military's aims are morally worthwhile in and of themselves.

AWS may result in less civilian deaths since the systems can make judgments faster than humans; however, this is not always the case with technology, as the decision-making procedures of AWS may result in higher civilian fatalities rather than the opposite.

However, if they can avoid civilian fatalities and property damage more effectively than conventional fighting, they are more efficient and hence preferable.

In times of conflict, they might also improve efficiency by minimizing resource waste.

Transportation of people and the resources required to keep them alive is a time-consuming and challenging part of battle.

AWS provides a solution to complex logistical issues.

Drones and other autonomous systems don't need rain gear, food, drink, or medical attention, making them less cumbersome and perhaps more successful in completing their objectives.

AWS are considered as eliminating waste and offering the best possible outcome in a combat situation in these and other ways.

The employment of AWS in military operations is inextricably linked to Just War Theory.

Just War Theory examines whether it is morally acceptable or essential for a military force to engage in war, as well as what activities are ethically justifiable during wartime.

If an autonomous system may be used in a military strike, it can only be done if the attack is justifiable in the first place.

According to this viewpoint, the manner in which one is murdered is less essential than the reason for one's death.

Those who believe AWS is unethical concentrate on the hazards that such technology entails.

These scenarios include scenarios in which enemy combatants obtain weaponry and use it against the military power that deploys it, as well as scenarios in which there is increased (and uncontrollable) collateral damage, reduced retaliation capability (against enemy combatant aggressors), and loss of human dignity.

One key concern is whether being murdered by a computer without a person as the final decision-maker is consistent with human dignity.

There appears to be something demeaning about being murdered by an AWS that has had minimal human interaction.

Another key worry is the risk aspect, which includes the danger to the user of the technology that if the AWS is taken down (either because to a malfunction or an enemy assault), it will be seized and used against the owner.

Those who oppose the use of AWS are likewise concerned about the concept of just war.

The targeting of civilians by military agents is expressly prohibited under Just War Theory; the only lawful military targets are other military bases or personnel.

However, the introduction of autonomous weapons may imply that a state, particularly one without access to AWS, may be unable to react to military attacks launched by AWS.

In a scenario where one side has access to AWS but the other does not, the side without the weapons will inevitably be without a legal military target, forcing them to either target nonmilitary (civilian) targets or not react at all.

Neither alternative is feasible in terms of ethics or practicality.

Because automated weaponry is widely assumed to be on the horizon, another ethical consideration is how to regulate its use.

Because of the United States' extensive use of remote control drones in the Middle East, this debate has gotten a lot of attention.

Some advocate for a worldwide ban on the technology; although this is often seen as foolish and hence impractical, these advocates frequently point to the UN's restriction against blinding lasers, which has been ratified by 108 countries.

Others want to create an international convention that controls the proper use of these technologies, with consequences and punishments for nations that break these standards, rather than a full prohibition.

There is currently no such agreement, and each state must decide how to govern the usage of these technologies on its own.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want to read more about Artificial Intelligence here.

See also: 

Battlefield AI and Robotics; Campaign to Stop Killer Robots; Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems; Robot Ethics.

Further Reading

Arkin, Ronald C. 2010. “The Case for Ethical Autonomy in Unmanned Systems.” Journal 
of Military Ethics 9, no. 4: 332–41.

Bhuta, Nehal, Susanne Beck, Robin Geiss, Hin-Yan Liu, and Claus Kress, eds. 2016. 
Autonomous Weapons Systems: Law, Ethics, Policy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge 
University Press.

Killmister, Suzy. 2008. “Remote Weaponry: The Ethical Implications.” Journal of 
Applied Philosophy 25, no. 2: 121–33.

Leveringhaus, Alex. 2015. “Just Say ‘No!’ to Lethal Autonomous Robotic Weapons.” 
Journal of Information, Communication, and Ethics in Society 13, no. 3–4: 

Sparrow, Robert. 2016. “Robots and Respect: Assessing the Case Against Autonomous 
Weapon Systems.” Ethics & International Affairs 30, no. 1: 93–116.

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