Campaign to Stop Killer Robots
First launched in April 2013, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots has urged governments and the United Nations to issue policy to outlaw the development of lethal autonomous weapons systems, also known as LAWS. Several countries including Israel, Russia, South Korea, the United States, and the United Kingdom oppose the call for a preemptive ban, and believe that existing international humanitarian law is sufficient enough regulation for this area.
In December 2018, a global Ipsos poll quantified growing public opposition to fully autonomous weapons. It found that 61% of adults surveyed across 26 countries oppose the use of lethal autonomous weapons systems. Two-thirds of those opposed thought these weapons would “cross a moral line because machines should not be allowed to kill," and more than half said the weapons would be “unaccountable." A similar study across 23 countries was conducted in January 2017, which showed 56% of respondents were opposed to the use of these weapons.
In November 2018, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for a ban on killer robots, stating, "For me there is a message that is very clear – machines that have the power and the discretion to take human lives are politically unacceptable, are morally repugnant, and should be banned by international law."
In July 2018, over 200 technology companies and 3,000 individuals signed a public pledge to "not participate nor support the development, manufacture, trade, or use of lethal autonomous weapons." In July 2015, over 1,000 experts in artificial intelligence signed on to a letter warning of the threat of an arms race in military artificial intelligence and calling for a ban on autonomous weapons. The letter was presented in Buenos Aires at the 24th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-15) and was co-signed by Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, Noam Chomsky, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn and Google DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis, among others.
In June 2018, Kate Conger, then a journalist for Gizmodo and now with the New York Times, revealed Google's involvement in Project Maven, a US Department of Defense-funded program that sought to autonomously process video footage shot by surveillance drones. Several Google employees resigned over the project, and 4,000 other employees sent a letter to Sundar Pichai, the company's chief executive, protesting Google's involvement in the project and demanding that Google not "build warfare technology." Facing internal pressure and public scrutiny, Google released a set of Ethical Principles for AI which included a pledge to not develop artificial intelligence for use in weapons and promised not to renew the Maven contract after it expires in 2019.
List of Steering Committee Members
The full membership list of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is available on their website.
- Amnesty International
- Handicap International
- Human Rights Watch
- International Committee for Robot Arms Control
- Nobel Women's Initiative
- Pax Christi International
- Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
- Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
List of countries calling for a prohibition on fully autonomous weapons
- Pakistan on 30 May 2013
- Ecuador on 13 May 2014
- Egypt on 13 May 2014
- Holy See on 13 May 2014
- Cuba on 16 May 2014
- Ghana on 16 April 2015
- Bolivia on 17 April 2015
- State of Palestine on 13 November 2015
- Zimbabwe on 12 November 2015 
- Algeria on 11 April 2016
- Costa Rica on 11 April 2016
- Mexico on 13 April 2016
- Chile on 14 April 2016
- Nicaragua on 14 April 2016
- Panama on 12 December 2016
- Peru on 12 December 2016
- Argentina on 12 December 2016
- Venezuela on 13 December 2016
- Guatemala on 13 December 2016
- Brazil on 13 November 2017
- Iraq on 13 November 2017
- Uganda on 17 November 2017
- Austria on 9 April 2018
- China* on 13 April 2018
- Djibouti on 13 April 2018
- Colombia on 13 April 2018
- El Salvador on 22 November 2018
- Morocco on 22 November 2018
* China states that its call is to ban the use of fully autonomous weapons, but not their development or production.
- "Killer Robots". Retrieved 2019-02-22.
- Horowitz, Michael; Scharre, Paul (19 November 2014). "Do Killer Robots Save Lives?". Politico. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Baum, Seth (22 February 2015). "Stopping killer robots and other future threats". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- McVeigh, Tracey (23 February 2013). "Killer robots must be stopped, say campaigners". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Bowcott, Owen (28 July 2015). "UK opposes international ban on developing 'killer robots'". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- "Six in Ten (61%) Respondents Across 26 Countries Oppose the Use of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems". Ipsos. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
- "Three in Ten Americans Support Using Autonomous Weapons". Ipsos. February 7, 2017. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
- "Remarks at "Web Summit"". United Nations Secretary-General. 2018-11-08. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
- "Lethal Autonomous Weapons Pledge". Future of Life Institute. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
- Gibbs, Samuel (27 July 2015). "Musk, Wozniak and Hawking urge ban on warfare AI and autonomous weapons". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Zakrzewski, Cat (27 July 2015). "Musk, Hawking Warn of Artificial Intelligence Weapons". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- Conger, Kate. "Google Is Helping the Pentagon Build AI for Drones". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
- Shane, Scott; Wakabayashi, Daisuke (2018-04-04). "'The Business of War': Google Employees Protest Work for the Pentagon". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
- "AI at Google: our principles". Google. 2018-06-07. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
- "Statement by Pakistan" (PDF).
- "Statement of Ecuador" (PDF).
- "Statement of Egypt" (PDF).
- "Statement of the Holy See" (PDF).
- "Statement of Ghana" (PDF).
- "Statement of Zimbabwe" (PDF).
- "Statement of Algeria" (PDF).
- "Statement of Costa Rica" (PDF).
- "Statement of Mexico" (PDF).
- "Statement of Chile" (PDF).
- "Statement by Morocco" (PDF).