The legal and moral issues surrounding lethal autonomous weapons systems were discussed April 9-13 in Geneva, the second such conference convened by the Group of Governmental Experts established by member-states of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. A total of 82 nations plus nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) attended the talks centered on developing a common understanding of the emerging technologies, potential future military use, and possible regulations and laws that could address security and humanitarian concerns about these systems.
Austria, China, and Colombia joined the list of nations urging a ban, which now totals 26, according to the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. France and Germany stated that use of such weapons systems should be subject to a code of conduct based on international humanitarian law and national regulations. Jordan expressed concern that this advancing technology will lead to a new arms race. Cuba remarked on the possibility of hacking attacks on these systems and their potential use by terrorists. Germany also advocated for export controls of goods related to such autonomous weapons capabilities. The United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, and Russia refuse to accept any legally binding instrument to ban such prospective weapons. Another meeting is planned for Aug. 27-31.—MATTHIEU ORTIZ