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March 11, 2019

Should We Ban ‘Killer Robots’? Can We?

Featuring Paul Scharre, and Robert O. Work

Source: Breaking Defense

Journalist Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

We now live in a world where a Campaign To Stop Killer Robots is a deadly serious thing, officially endorsed by 26 national governments. (28, if you count Palestine and the Vatican). China is on that list, albeit with a huge asterisk: It wants to ban only the use of “lethal autonomous weapons systems,” not research, development and production. (After all, Beijing has an enormously ambitious plan to dominate AI by 2030.)

The US is not on the list of countries who want to ban killer robots. Nor is Russia. Nor is the UK, nor are any of our leading allies. Should we be?

There’s a strong argument that the US has already sworn off “killer robots.” Civilian officials and military leaders alike have said for years the US will always keep a “human in the loop” for any use of lethal force. There is a waiver provision in Pentagon policy, but no one’s ever used it.

Read the full article and more in Breaking Defense.


  • Paul Scharre

    Vice President and Director of Studies

    Paul Scharre is the Vice President and Director of Studies at CNAS. He is the award-winning author of Four Battlegrounds: Power in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. His firs...

  • Robert O. Work

    Senior Counselor for Defense and Distinguished Senior Fellow for Defense and National Security

    Secretary Robert O. Work is the Distinguished Senior Fellow for Defense and National Security at the Center for a New American Security and the owner of TeamWork, LLC, which s...