A Partial Ban on Autonomous Weapons Would Make Everyone Safer

A Partial Ban on Autonomous Weapons Would Make Everyone Safer

The United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Group of Governmental Experts met late last month to discuss lethal, autonomous weapons. The semiannual meetings are the first serious effort by global governments to control autonomous weapons. And the weapons pose serious risks to global security: Even the best artificial intelligence isn’t well suited to distinguishing farmers from soldiers and may be trained only on laboratory data that is a poor substitute for real battlefields.

As U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres wrote on Twitter, “Autonomous machines with the power and discretion to select targets and take lives without human involvement are politically unacceptable, morally repugnant and should be prohibited by international law.”