Killer drone “chased human target” without being told

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Arnold Schwarzenegger could have seen this one coming.

After the closure of a United Nations commission to block killer robots in 2018, a new report from the international body now indicates that Terminator-type drones are now here.

Last year, “an autonomous armed drone tracked down a human target last year” and attacked it without being specifically ordered, according to a report by the UN Security Council’s Panel of Experts on Libya , published in March 2021 and published in New Scientist. magazine and the Star.

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The March 2020 attack took place in Libya and was carried out by a Kargu-2 quadcopter drone produced by Turkish military technology company STM “during a conflict between Libyan government forces and a dissident military faction led by Khalifa Haftar, Commander of the Libyan National Army, ”the Star reports, adding:“ The Kargu-2 is equipped with an explosive charge and the drone can be aimed at a target during a kamikaze attack, detonating on impact . “

The drones operated in a “very efficient” autonomous mode that did not require any human controllers and the report notes:

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“Lethal autonomous weapons systems have been programmed to attack targets without requiring data connectivity between the operator and the ammunition: indeed, a true ‘shoot, forget and find’ ability” – suggesting drones attacked alone .

Zak Kallenborn, of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism in Maryland, said this could be the first time drones have autonomously attacked humans and sounded the alarm bells.

“How fragile is the object recognition system? Kallenborn asked in the report. “… How often does he misidentify targets? “

Jack Watling, of the British defense think tank Royal United Services Institute, told New Scientist: “This does not show that autonomous weapons would be unregulated,” he said. “But it shows that the discussion continues to be urgent and important. The technology is not going to wait for us.”

In August last year, Human Rights Watch warned of the need for legislation against “killer robots,” while New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang called for a global ban on killer robots. their ban – which the United States and Russia oppose.

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