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Controversy Surrounding Use of Autonomous Weapons

At a United Nations gathering, delegates from both Ukraine and Russia disagreed fiercely on how the meeting should proceed. But the gathering was not simply about how or when the war should end, but how it should be fought.

Specifically, global delegates were in attendance to work on a treaty regarding Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems. More than smart guns or unmanned aerial vehicles, such systems are complex algorithms that use artificial intelligence to identify, select and kill human targets without specific human intervention. The Kargu-2 flying quad-copter is such a weapon, made by Turkish firm STM. Industry analysts believe that similar systems are already in development in China, Russia, and the US.

Proponents of such systems say that they are essential in reducing the body count of conventional warfare, but detractors say that the systems are error-prone, and the efficiency of its operational protocol has the potential for disastrous outcomes. Many antiwar demonstrators call them “killer robots” or “slaughterbots.” The U.N. requires a convention on Certain Conventional Weapons every five years or so to govern the technology of war, but analysts say that the pace of innovation is outracing the body’s ability to keep such technology in check.

Daan Kayser leads the autonomous weapons project for a Dutch group called Pax for Peace. He said, “I believe it’s just a matter of policy at this point, not technology. Any one of a number of countries could have computers killing without a single human anywhere near it. And that should frighten everyone.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Technology is constantly being used to enhance the ability of armies to kill and maim one another and innocent civilians. We desperately need to pray for the coming of the kingdom of the Prince of Peace who will cause weapons of war to be molded into farming implements (Isa. 2:4, Isa. 9:6-7).

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