Killer Robots: Mary Wareham at Human Rights Watch
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Killer Robots: Mary Wareham at Human Rights Watch

The idea that Lethal Autonomous Weapons, Killer Robots, could actually exist seems like Science Fiction as crept from the pages of a novel to reality.

Mary Wareham is the Director of Advocacy for the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch in Washington DC. She spearheads an international effort to create an Internationally Legally Binding Treaty that would ban such a weapon system before they are fully developed and deployed.

As the world makes great advances in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, a large application for such technologies focuses on the arms industry and military applications. Killer Robots that can independently make the decision to take human life without any human oversight is not in the future. It is here.

This technology has many controversial aspects, least of all the issue of a machine can kill without oversight. Many developers of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence are appalled that their inventions are being militarized in such a way.

The debate on keeping control of such weapons is a moral and ethical one as well as a technological one.

Wareham’s work is to create and lead the Stop Killer Robots Campaign that is working for the creation of an arms treaty that will control such weapons.

She has worked in the world of arms control for many years and was a key player in the creation of the Treaty Banning Anti Personnel Landmines in 1997 and the Treaty that Banned Cluster Munitions in 2008. The International Campaign to ban Landmines was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.

She joins John Rodsted from SafeGround in a conversation covering all aspects of Killer Robots and the work towards a treaty and how Australia is positioned in this discussion.

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