European Parliament urges ban on "killer robots"

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STRASBOURG, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Lethal autonomous weapons systems, or "killer robots," should be banned before it is too late, warned Members of European Parliament in a resolution adopted Wednesday in Strasbourg.

Passed by 556 votes to 47, with 73 abstentions, the resolution stressed their concerns over the threat of weapons without meaningful human control over selecting and attacking targets.

In their resolution, MEPs remarked that some countries and industries are alleged to be developing lethal autonomous weapons systems, also known as "killer robots," spanning a range from "missiles capable of selective targeting to learning machines with cognitive skills to decide whom, when and where to fight."

Such technologies, for the European Parliament, raise fundamental ethical and legal questions regarding human control, in particular in terms of critical functions such as target selection and engagement.

"Machines cannot make human-like decisions," the resolution states, because the accountability for life and death decisions ultimately falls on humans.

The resolution called for an EU common position toward lethal autonomous weapons systems to ensure human control, and to speak with a unified voice across different international forums.

The MEPs would like to see the prevention of development and production of such weapons, while also advocating an international ban. Enditem

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