Generally, in a legal treaty the last thing to be articulated is the actual definition. In terms of conventional munitions, they are, in essence, a conventional munition if they deploy conventional weapons. It depends on what the payload is. If a fully autonomous system were launching nuclear weapons it would not be a conventional weapon. This is where governments decided to house this topic. Those are the two functions that we want to ensure remain under human control, under meaningful human control. For some others, some other states, they like to draw what we call the very wide definition of meaningful human control.
For some of them it means good programming, nice design, a weapons review, a kind of legal review of if the weapon system will be legal and if they can proceed to develop it. Ariel: What are the concerns that you have about this idea of non-human control? What worries you about that? They also worry about outsourcing killing to machines. Then, what impact is this going to have on the system that we have in place globally? How will it be destabilizing in various regions, and, as a whole, what will happen when dictators and one-party states and military regimes get ahold of fully autonomous weapons?
How will they use them? How will non-state armed groups use them? Bonnie: I would just add, building on what Mary said, another reason human control is so important is that humans bring judgment. They bring legal and ethical judgment based on their innate characteristics, on their understanding of another human being, of the mores of a culture, and that a robot cannot bring, certain things cannot be programmed.
Losing humanity in use of force, potentially, violate the law, and as well as raise serious moral concerns that Mary discussed. Ariel: I want to go back to the process to get these weapons banned. I was curious, is that slow, or is that just sort of the normal speed for banning a weapon? That took a while. Mary: That took so many years, you know?
Sorry to interrupt you. Are the governments going to keep talking about this, which we hope they do, but what are they going to do about it, more importantly? One is political measures, political non-binding declaration. Can we get agreement on some form of principles over human control? We could create new international law.
How do we do that in this particular treaty at the Convention on Conventional Weapons? You move to a negotiating mandate, and you set the objective of negotiating a new protocol under the Convention on Conventional Weapons. For us, the biggest, I think, developments are happening outside of the room right now rather than in Geneva itself. We believe that if they move to a negotiating mandate at the end of this year, they could negotiate the treaty next year.
Negotiating the treaty is not the part that takes the long time. The actual process of negotiating that law should be relatively swift. For us, the goal is absolutely crucial to get in there at the beginning. The goal at the moment has gone from informal talks to formal talks, but, still, with no option or outcome. Mary: Just to say, 85 countries have spoken out on this topic to date.
We support the international talks. We need to further explore and discuss the issues before we can make any progress.
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For others, now people are less patient with that position, and it will be interesting to see if those three countries in particular change their minds here. They have to strive for consensus where everybody in the room agrees, or at least does not object with moving forward. The only countries who have wanted to talk about the potential advantages or benefits are Israel and the United States.
All of the other countries who speak about this are more concerned about understanding and coming to grips with all of the challenges that are raised, and then figuring out what the regulatory framework should be. Ariel: Bonnie, was there anything you wanted to add to that? Bonnie: I think Mary summarized the key points.
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I think that the growing number of states that have expressed concern about these weapons, and the majority, the almost consensus or the merging around the need for human control show that there is willingness to act at this point. As Mary said, this is not a situation where people are advocating, and I think that in the long run the agreement that there should be human control over the use of force will outweigh any hesitation based on the wait-and-see approach.
Mary: We had a good proposal, or not proposal, but offer from the United Nations Secretary General in this big agenda for disarmament framework that he launched a couple of months ago, saying that he stands ready to support the efforts of UN member states to elaborate new measures on lethal autonomous weapon systems, including legally-binding arrangements. For him, he wants states to ensure that humans remain at all times in control over the use of force. To have that kind of offer of support from the highest level at the United Nations I think is very important.
We also saw the ethical principles issued by Google in recent weeks and this pledge by the company not to design or develop artificial intelligence for use in weapons.
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All of these efforts and initiatives are very relevant to what states need to do going forward. This is why we in the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots welcome them and encourage them, and want to ensure that we have as much of a broad-based appeal to support the government action that we need taken.
We see the weapons systems that are in development at the moment, including swarms of very small miniature drones, and where will that head? What China thinks about this issue matters. China gave the example of the blinding lasers protocol at the CCW which prohibits laser weapons that would permanently blind human soldiers.
I think the real news on China is that its position now saying that existing law is insufficient and we need to create new international rules, splits the P5, the permanent five members of the United Nations Security Council.
Then France is pursuing a political declaration, but not legally-binding measures. What are some examples in the past of that having succeeded, as opposed to proving some humanitarian disaster as the result of a weapon? Bonnie: Well, the main precedent for that is the preemptive ban on blinding lasers, which is a protocol to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
We did some research a few years ago into the motives behind the preemptive ban on blinding lasers, and many of them are the same. They raised concerns about the threat of an arms race. They raised concerns that there be a ban, but that it not impede peaceful development in that area. That ban has been very successful. It has not impeded the peaceful use of lasers for many civilian purposes, but it has created a stigma against and a legally-binding ruling against using blinding lasers.
Mary: Bonnie, I really like that paper that you did on the other precedents for retaining human control over weapons systems. Bonnie: Correct. As Mary said, there are several treaties, chemical weapons, biological weapons and landmines, all have been banned, in large part because people in governments were concerned about losing control over the weapons system.
Ariel: I talked to Paul Scharre a little bit earlier, and one of the things that he talked about were treaties that were developed as a result of the powers that be, recognizing that the weapon would be too big of a risk for them, and so they agreed to ban a weapon. That builds on past, what they call humanitarian disarmament treaties, treaties designed to protect humanity through legal norms, and, traditionally, often through bans, bans of landmines, cluster munitions and nuclear weapons.
There have been other treaties, sometimes they overlap, that have been driven more for security reasons. Certainly, chemical weapons was an example of that. That often happens, and I think both reasons are applicable here, but they just have come from slightly different trajectories.
Normally, we are dealing with the aftermath of the consequences of proliferation and of widespread use and widespread production and stockpiling. Where is the relevance of the UN charter which talks about general and complete disarmament as being the ultimate objective? Is the ultimate objective to create more and better and more sophisticated weapons systems, or is to end war and deal with the consequences through disarmament of warfare? This is a big plenary meeting with more than 80 countries following, engaging, and avidly trying to figure out what to do.
Ariel: In terms of just helping people understand how the UN works, what role does a group like the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots play in the upcoming meeting? If, ultimately, the decision is made by the states and the nations, what is your role?ustanovka-kondicionera-deshevo.ru/libraries/2019-11-29/621.php
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These international meetings only happen a couple of times a year. This will be the second week this year. All of those things are what makes things move inside the room with the diplomacy because the diplomats need instructions from capitols in order to really progress. We need to ensure that we can reach out and engage with all of the delegates in the room because every country matters on this issue, and every country has questions.
Can we answer all those questions? Probably not, but we can talk through them with those states, try and address the concerns, and try and be a valued partner in the deliberations that are happening. You have just a few, or just one so that you can be absolutely clear and guiding where you want to see the deliberations go and the outcome that you want. Ariel: Could you tell us a little bit about how you got involved with this and what first gave you cause for concern?
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