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94 Int'l Rev. Red Cross 787 (2012)
The evitability of autonomous robot warfare

handle is hein.journals/intlrcs94 and id is 792 raw text is: 
























                                  Noel  E. Sharkey**
                                  Noel E. Sharkey is Professor of Artificial Intelligence and
                                  Robotics and Professor of Public Engagement in the
                                  Department of Computer Science at the University of Sheffield,
                                  UK, and currently holds a Leverhulme Research Fellowship on
                                  an ethical and technical assessment of battlefield robots.

Abstract
This  is a call for the prohibition of autonomous lethal targeting by free-ranging robots.
This  article willfirst point out the three main international humanitarian   law  (IHL)/
ethical issues with  armed  autonomous robots and then move on to discuss a major
stumbling   block  to  their evitability: misunderstandings about the limitations of
robotic  systems and  artificial intelligence. This is partly due to a mythical narrative
from  science fiction and the media,  but  the real danger is in the language  being used
by  military researchers and others to describe robots and  what they can  do. The article
will look  at some   anthropomorphic ways that robots have been discussed by the
military  and  then go on  to provide a robotics case study  in which  the language  used
obfuscates  the IHL  issues. Finally, the article will look at problems with some   of the
current  legal instruments  and suggest  a way forward   to prohibition.

Keywords: autonomous  robot warfare, armed autonomous robots, lethal autonomy, artificial
intelligence, international humanitarian law.




    The title is an allusion to a short story by Isaac Asimov, 'The evitable conflict', where 'evitable' means
    capable of being avoided. Evitability means avoidability.
    Thanks for comments on earlier drafts go to Colin Allen, Juergen Altmann, Niall Griffith, Mark Gubrud,
    Patrick Lin, George Lucas, Illah Nourbakhsh, Amanda Sharkey, Wendell Wallach, Alan Winfield, and to
    editor-in-chief Vincent Bernard and the team of the International Review of the Red Cross, as well as
    others who prefer to remain unnamed.


doi:1 0.1 017/S1 816383112000732


787

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