Controlling Robotic Weapons

I’m delighted to be informed by Professor Noel Sharkey that I have been invited to become the first member of the Advisory Board of the International Campaign for Robotic Arms Control (ICRAC). ICRAC aims to help prevent the unfettered spread of automated weapons systems and to produce an international convention or some other kind of binding agreement to control their use. I’ve been tracking the develeopment of robotic surveillance (and killing) systems for quite a while now and I think this campaign is absolutely essential. This piece recently in The Times of London goes into some of the issues quite well. There is a lot of work to do here to persuade governments to control what many militaries think will be ‘essential’ to warfare in this coming century, but I think that the landmines campaign is a good example of what can be done here – but this time before robotic weapons become too common.