U.S. Opposes Autonomous Weapons Ban, Cites ‘What About China’ Argument

Home Technology U.S. Opposes Autonomous Weapons Ban, Cites ‘What About China’ Argument
U.S. Opposes Autonomous Weapons Ban, Cites ‘What About China’ Argument
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Diplomats from around the world met in Geneva this week to hammer out agreements on how to manage autonomous weapons systems with many calling for an outright ban of the technology. One country is notably opposed to those agreements: The United States.

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At the talks, first reported on by The Guardian, US official Josh Dorosin disagreed with calls for binding legal instruments to limit the use of autonomous weapons, insisting instead on more voluntary efforts.

“In our view, the best way to make progress,” Dorosin said, “would be through the development of a non-binding code of conduct.” By opposing the ban the U.S. joins the company of Russia, China, and India, which have all turned their nose up at the idea of a “killer robot” ban.

Those proposed bans would apply to lethal autonomous weapons systems that can perceive their own environment and make a decision, potentially leading to a human death, notes The Financial Times. The exact form factor of these systems can vary and could include ground drones, or aircraft. Those criteria notably wouldn’t include the types of drones already regularly used by the U.S. and other militaries in battles since those systems still require a human operator to make final decisions. More self-sufficient autonomous systems are definitely being developed though.