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These killer robots threaten humanity: the alert from this Harvard researcher

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Advances in artificial intelligence are creating a new danger in the military field. Autonomous weapon systems, also called killer robots, have already been used on certain battlefields. This is particularly the case in Libya or during the recent clash between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Concretely, these are weapon systems capable of firing without a human intervention. Bonnie Docherty, professor of law at Harvard and specialist on this subject, spoke in the Gazette of the prestigious university.

An essential regulation

She believes that these new robots raise real ethical questions. Thus, algorithmic bias could lead to discrimination against certain profiles on the battlefield, depending on the appearance of the people. The machine will reduce its decision to a set of numbers or data without the slightest humanity, and there is nothing to indicate that it could not exceed the limits in certain cases.

On a legal level, the researcher believes that these systems cannot differentiate between soldiers and civilians, one of the main foundations of the law of war. It would therefore not sufficiently weigh the risks when making a decision.

Another question raised: who will be responsible in the event of a robot overrunning killer? Certainly not the AI, but also not the operator who remotely supervises the device since he will not have directly given an order.

Faced with this increasingly serious danger, the UN is trying to react. In November 2023, the First Committee on Disarmament and International Security of the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution requesting the Secretary-General to collect the opinions of States and citizens on this subject.

If a total ban on these new weapons is considered, this will be very difficult to achieve. Indeed, certain countries such as Russia are opposed to this idea, as are the United States and the United Kingdom, which are proposing non-binding resolutions in order to allow themselves the possibility of using these systems.

Bonnie Docherty does not hesitate to criticize Uncle Sam's attitude:

We think they fall short of what a solution should be. We believe that we need legally binding rules that are much stricter than what the US government is proposing and that they must include bans on certain types of autonomous weapon systems, and that they must be obligations and not simple recommendations.

Only the future will tell us whether the alarm signal sent by these experts has been heard.< /p>

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116