Ban on Autonomous Weapons still possible

During this week the third Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS) is taking place at the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva. Participants of the former meetings told me they expected a more open discussion, since delegates from USA and Great Britain seem to step back from their positions of delaying the proceedings and blocking any decisions against further development of autonomous weapon systems.

I summarized some of the advance statements of participating countries in this article (in German). Meanwhile more papers have been published on the Meeting’s homepage, so you can follow the discussions at least partly from remote.

Generally, there seems to be a growing awareness that artificial intelligence may become much bigger and more powerful than many people have expected so far and therefore deserves much more serious attention. The open question still is, whether this awareness grows fast enough and reaches the higher levels of decisions makers before the technological development has established facts that render any further discussion redundant. The window of opportunity is still open, but will likely close in less than five years.

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