UN wants to ban killer robots but US won't comply

Amongst other issues on the docket for the upcoming Sixth Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons in Geneva, the United Nations wants to address the elephant in the, err, uhh, developing nation of autonomous death machines. But in true American form, the good ol' US-of-A thinks it can police itself well enough, thank you very much.

As The Guardian reports:

Speaking at a meeting in Geneva focused on finding common ground on the use of such so-called lethal autonomous weapons, a US official balked at the idea of regulating their use through a "legally-binding instrument".

The meeting saw government experts preparing for high-level talks at a review conference on the Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons from 13 to 17 December.

"In our view, the best way to make progress … would be through the development of a non-binding code of conduct," US official Josh Dorosin told the meeting.

To be fair, the US was not the only country who was resistant to forging an agreement with the rest of the world to not build Skynet. India and Russia were also skeptical of having a legally binding agreement. (Of course, if you're rich and powerful, UN-binding agreements don't matter anyway because no one will actually step up and punish you, but I digress.) The People's Republic of China, while supportive of a UN ban, wanted to make sure they were still allowed to develop and produce killer robots, even if they agree that they definitely won't use them in war.

Meanwhile, there are at least thirty countries in support of the idea.

US rejects calls for regulating or banning 'killer robots' [The Guardian]

UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons [United Nations]

Crunch Time On Killer Robots [Human Rights Watch]

'Killer robots' may be coming. New Zealand wants to stop them. [Amy Cheng / The Washington Post]

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