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Proposed New York City Law a Model for Regulation

Elected officials and local authorities across the United States and around the world should consider replicating an innovative legislative proposal that would prohibit police from arming robots used in their law enforcement operations. The bill,…
A black robot with four legs resembling a dog stands on a stage in front of a shite background.
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Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
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New Law Needed to Retain Meaningful Human Control Over the Use of Force

(Geneva) – Russia, the United States, and a handful of other nations investing in autonomous weapons are preventing efforts to start negotiations on a new treaty to retain meaningful human control over the use of force, Human Rights Watch said…
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Government Still Rejects Regulations Preventing ‘Killer Robots’

As the United States Department of Defense releases a strategy on artificial intelligence (AI), questions loom about whether the US government intends to accelerate its investments in weapons systems that would select and engage targets…
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US and Russia Among States Who Object to Prohibition

Opposition to the creation of so-called “killer robots” – weapons systems that could select and attack targets without any human intervention – is growing. The issue has been hotly debated since 2013, when the Campaign to Stop Killer…
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Courts Need to Be Able to Rule on Legality of New Biometric, AI Technologies

US law enforcement agencies’ use of Rekognition, an Amazon surveillance system that uses facial recognition powered by artificial intelligence, poses threats to the rights to peaceful assembly and respect for private life, among others…
An Amazon.com Inc driver stands next to an Amazon delivery truck in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 21, 2016.
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Many Countries Call for Law to Keep Human Control

(Geneva) – Countries meeting in Geneva on November 13-24, 2017, missed a chance to move ahead to prevent the development of weapons systems that would select and engage targets without meaningful human control, Human Rights…
As the debate about “killer robots” continues, the threat they pose looms large.
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President-elect Should Leave Divisive Rhetoric Behind and Set New Tone

(Washington, DC) – United States President-elect Donald Trump should abandon campaign rhetoric that seemed to reject many of the United States’ core human rights obligations and put rights at the heart of his administration’s domestic and foreign policy…
US President-elect Donald Trump addresses supporters during his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, November 9, 2016.
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When it comes to banning “killer robots,” the United States is going to take some convincing. That was one major take-away from April’s multilateral meeting on the matter where a US delegation joined 90 other nations at the United Nations in Geneva to…
Report
Summary Fully autonomous weapons, also called killer robots or lethal autonomous robots, do not yet exist, but weapons technology is moving rapidly toward greater autonomy. Fully…
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Tech has been turned against human rights – or so it seemed from Edward Snowden’s revelations last year. The technological advances that enabled the Arab Spring and empowered citizen journalists were exposed as facilitating unfettered surveillance…
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Many Yemeni people justifiably fear the U.S. more than they fear al Qaeda. Here's the shameful reason why While most of the world is focused on turmoil in Syria and Egypt, a less publicized but critically important drama is playing out in Yemen…
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All Nations Should Endorse, Carry Out UN Call for Moratorium

(Geneva) – The United States should endorse the call by a United Nations (UN) special rapporteur to halt fully autonomous robotic weapons. These weapons, once activated, can select and engage targets without further intervention by a human. For the first…
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Letter to Ambassador Eileen C. Donahoe

Ambassador Eileen C. Donahoe US Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council Route de Pregny 11 1292 Chambésy Geneva, Switzerland   Dear Ambassador Donahoe, I am writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch, a founding member of an international…
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US Policy on Autonomy in Weapons Systems is First in the World

(Washington, DC) – Temporary US restrictions on lethal fully autonomous weapons should be strengthened and made permanent. Fully autonomous weapons, sometimes called “killer robots,” would be able to select and attack targets on their own without any…
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US Policy on Autonomy in Weapons Systems is First in the World

Introduction On November 21, 2012, the US Department of Defense issued its first public policy on autonomy in weapons systems. Directive Number 3000.09 (the Directive) lays out guidelines for the development and use of autonomous and semi-autonomous…
Video
Machines are starting to take the place of human soldiers on the battlefield. Some military and robotics experts predict that "killer robots" -- fully autonomous weapons that could select and engage targets --- could be developed within 20-30 years.
Report
Summary With the rapid development and proliferation of robotic weapons, machines are starting to take the place of humans on the battlefield. Some military and robotics experts have…