The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots – an actual political and social group run mostly by humans – has sent a peace envoy robot to deliver a letter to the United Nations building in New York, in the US.
According to the Guardian newspaper, the campaign group will give UN diplomats a letter in which it is demanding that the world stops the development of autonomous war machines.
These can include, but are not limited to, technologies such as drones, tanks and other other machinery controlled by an autonomous computer which is running artificial intelligence systems that decide whether to kill people or not.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots has previously called for a similar halt to the development and growth of future wars that could essentially be robots fighting each other and killing humans in the process.
Mary Wareham, co-ordinator at the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, says the group is urging the UN to “help us retain meaningful human control of weapons systems by endorsing the call for a pre-emptive ban on the development, production, and use of weapons that, once initiated,would select and attack targets without any human input or interaction”.
And although the UN secretary-general, António Gueterres, is said to be supportive of the campaign’s aims and objectives, he has yet to persuade leading nations to take the issue seriously and ban them, even though they appear to be against them in principle.
In a message earlier this year, Gueterres talked about “emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems”, and said that “machines with the power and discretion to take lives without human involvement are politically unacceptable, morally repugnant and should be prohibited by international law”.
He said that his view “reflects what I see as the prevailing sentiment across the world”.
Gueterres added: “I know of no state or armed force in favour of fully autonomous weapon systems empowered to take human life.”