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Slippery Slope

Slippery Slope

11-11-2019 The arms industry and increasingly autonomous weapons

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The development of increasingly autonomous weapons has raised deep concerns and has triggered an international debate regarding the desirability of these weapons. Lethal autonomous weapons systems, popularly known as killer robots, would be able to select and attack individual targets without meaningful human control.

This report analyses developments in the arms industry, pointing to areas of work that have potential for applications in lethal autonomous weapons and shows the trend of increasing autonomy in weapon systems. In the last ten years there has been a big increase in the number of countries and companies working on these technologies. There is an urgent need for governments to make new legislation to prevent lethal autonomous weapons becoming a reality. At the same time arms producers should take action to ensure they do not contribute to this development.

Humanitarian Disarmament