An upcoming expert-level meeting of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva is to host a debate on killer robots.
The discussion is to be held between Prof. Noel Sharkey, co-founder of the Campaign Against Killer Robots and chairman of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, and Prof. Ronald Arkin from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a public research university in Atlanta, Georgia.
The meeting will produce a draft report for the annual CCW meeting to review in November.
“[It] may see nations renew the mandate to continue the experts’ discussions or move to a different phase of a more formal negotiating process,” reads a guide by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.
"Autonomous weapons systems cannot be guaranteed to predictably comply with international law," Sharkey has said. "Nations aren't talking to each other about this, which poses a big risk to humanity."
Arkin has likewise expressed concerns that the robots could be rushed into battle prematurely. "I support a moratorium until that end is achieved, but I do not support a ban at this time," he said.
He, however, has claimed the machines could help reduce non-combatant casualties and may be more effective at determining when not to engage with a target than humans are.
Searchers fear 'pings' they thought were from missing MH370 were not from the plane at all – casting doubt on any future salvage effort
MH370 searchers have said electronic 'pings' initially thought to have come from missing Malaysian Airlines flight may not have emanated from the plane at all.
A senior Australian naval officer said he 'increasingly suspects' some of the signals detected last month didn't come from the jetliner's black-box flight recorders, piling further doubts over the search effort.
Australian naval Commander James Lybrand said of four 'pings' picked up by the U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle, two were too weak to have been from a man-made device.
The US Strategic Command, the agency responsible for country’s nuclear arsenal, will hold large-scale war games this week that will include 10 B-52 Stratofortresses and up to six B-2 Spirit bombers, along with other military and government agencies.
The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber built to carry nuclear weapons.
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, also known as the Stealth Bomber, is an American strategic bomber, designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses that can drop up to sixteen 1,100 kg B83 nuclear bombs.
The exercise will be conducted from May 12-16 and is set “to deter and detect strategic attacks against the US and its allies,” the Strategic Command said in a statement.
“This exercise provides unique training opportunities to incorporate the most current technology and techniques in support of our mission. Continued focus and investment in our strategic capabilities allow US Stratcom to deter, dissuade, and defeat current and future threats to the U.S. and our allies.” said Admiral Cecil Haney, head of Strategic Command.
StratCom is the US’s nuclear command and is responsible for space operations, global strike, global missile defense; and global command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and combating weapons of mass destruction.
Though the timing of the exercise was declared as “unrelated to real-world events,” it does come on the heels of the recent war games in Russia. Announced in November 2013, military drills on countering nuclear strikes were overseen by President Vladimir Putin ahead of the May 9 celebrations dedicated to victory in World War II
Contrary to the openness of the Russian war games, the US Strategic Command released very few details about the upcoming exercise.
Relations between Moscow and Washington have worsened significantly over the situation in Ukraine. The US continues to endorse and support a military operation by Kiev’s coup-installed government against federalization supporters in the southeast of the country.
Last week, NATO said it may permanently station additional troops in Eastern Europe as a defensive measure against Moscow. Russia views this recent buildup of NATO forces as a provocation and counterproductive in the struggle to deescalate tensions in Ukraine.