A human will always decide when a robot kills you: Pentagon’s ‘reassurance’ over fears of machine apocalypse

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
By Paul Martin

DAMIEN GAYLE
UK Daily Mail
November 27, 2012

The U.S. military has made clear that any future robot weapons systems will always need manual authorisation before opening fire on human targets.

The Department of Defense issued a new policy directive saying that any semi-autonomous weapons systems will be designed so they need human authorisation to open fire.

The promise comes after a Human Rights Watch report called for an international ban on ‘killer robots’, which the group warned could be deployed within 20 years.

Soon after that report was published, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter signed a series of instructions ‘to minimise failures that could lead to unintended engagements or to loss of control’ of armed robots.

Policy directive 3000.09 says: ‘Semi-autonomous weapon systems that are onboard or integrated with unmanned platforms must be designed such that, in the event of degraded or lost communications, the system does not autonomously select and engage individual targets or specific target groups that have not been previously selected by an authorised human operator.’

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