International high-level dialogue forum

Shaping a globalised world

Global Governance Spotlight 4|2014

Autonomous Weapons Systems. Humanising or Dehumanising Warfare?

Frank Sauer
June 2014; 4 pages


download

At present, the use and the potential of drones are widely discussed. But beyond this broader public debate, thoughts are turning to the future. Autonomous weapons systems – which their opponents have dubbed “killer robots” – are regarded as the representatives of an impending paradigm shift in warfare. These weapons systems would be able to make decisions on the use of (lethal) armed force without any human intervention. They do not yet exist, other than in the form of precursors, but their development is running at full speed. From 13 to 16 May 2014, an informal Meeting of Experts was held at the United Nations in Geneva within the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) to discuss questions related to these emerging technologies.

Find out more about the outcomes of this meeting in our Global Governance Spotlight 4|2014, written by Frank Sauer from the Bundeswehr University Munich.

NewsletterSubscribe to our newsletter