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 Killer robots infographic
Graphic shows Israel’s Harop drone and Ipsos survey on use of killer robots.


Should killer robots be banned?

By Duncan Mil

November 23, 2023 - Multiple governments are calling on the United Nations to impose legally binding restrictions on lethal autonomous weapons. The U.S., China, and Israel are among countries developing “killer robots.”

However, the U.S., Russia, Australia, and Israel are pushing for a non-binding resolution. The conflicting views among these countries raise concerns about AI-driven weapons’ ethical and security implications.

In a speech on August 28, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, Kathleen Hicks, said technology like AI-controlled drones would enable the U.S. to offset China’s People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) numerical advantage in weapons and people.

“We’ll counter the PLA’s mass with mass of our own, but ours will be harder to plan for, harder to hit, harder to beat,” she said.

Ukraine has already reportedly used drone surface craft packed with explosives to attack Russian shipping.

“Uncrewed aerial systems have already taken crewed reconnaissance helicopters out of a lot of their missions,” said Mick Ryan, a former Australian army major general who publishes regular commentaries on the Ukraine conflict.

“We are starting to see ground-based artillery observers replaced by drones,” Ryan added.

PUBLISHED: 23/11/2023; STORY: Graphic News