February 13, 2015

Before Anyone Bans Killer Robots, We Have to Define What They Are

By Michael Horowitz, and Paul Scharre

In April, world leaders will meet in Geneva discuss the regulation of autonomous weapons at the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). But before they make laws, they first have to agree on what an autonomous weapon even is.

“We still really haven’t come to a universal understanding of what an autonomous weapon is,” Paul Scharre, Director of the 20YY Warfare Initiative at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), told me. “We have a group of NGOs that have leapt to conclusions––they want a ban on 'killer robots,' but nobody is sure what that is.”

Scharre and Michael C. Horowitz co-authored a new report for CNAS that seeks to clear up some questions surrounding the definition of these so-called “killer robots.”

Read the full article at MOTHERBOARD.

  • Michael Horowitz

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Michael C. Horowitz is an associate professor of political science and the associate director of Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also an adjunct sen...

  • Paul Scharre

    Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Paul Scharre is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. From 2008-2013, Mr. Scharre worked in t...