With global military spending on the rise, we may now be on the cusp of a series of new technological innovations that will fundamentally influence the way we conduct warfare. There is an emphasis on robotic weapons platforms for use in the air, on land and at sea, and their diversity is expanding rapidly. With increasing automation
and autonomy of these platforms, and the integration of artificial intelligence, we must also grapple with the evolving character of war and the legal and ethical challenges that arise. This panel explored the paradoxes of robotic warfare – such as the possibility of increased risk to civilians and non-combatants despite more effective targeting, and the increased propensity to deploy lethal force owing to the reduced risk for armed forces personnel.