What can we do about this? Rather, what can you do about i? I can stop using smart phone, I can use cash for everything and not allow chips to rule my reality, I can eat locally produced organic food, I can turn off GPS on all devices, I can opt of a Smart Meter on my home which will then cripple “the internet of all things,” I can resist in every way 5G. I can convince others that convenience comes with the price of slavery. I can be accountable and as self-sufficient as possible.
I therefore am resisting the machine by not being a compliant enabler.
AI must be resisted. Your choice… natural living or being deleted.
July 24, 2017 By Sachin DS
“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity” – Albert Einstein
The world has witnessed many revolutionary technologies in recent years. Emerging technologies have always been well exploited for military use. Innovations have changed the equation of wars. Technology has been central to the military strategy. Countries have always tried to have a technological edge over their enemy which more often than not leads to an ‘Arms Race’.
Technology has played a great role in transforming modern warfare. Cyber warfare and Information warfare have emerged as new challenges. Along with the above two a new technology has emerged to challenge global policy makers in recent times. The lethality it possesses, the threat it poses and the terror it has created in the minds of policy makers, military and civilian intellectual bodies is immense. It has opened a new debate in the international arena. The war technology of this calibre is none other than ‘Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems’ (LAWS).
Autonomous weapons do not exist at present.[The author does not know the details of secret programs conducted for over 70 years by military. Automatic Intelligence already exists, as do killer drones, cyanide RFID chips, and hundreds of other ways to hurt people. We do not even know if our present civilization is being run by ourselves or something else. – Ray Songtree]
Their manufacturing cost, investment needed and industrial infrastructure for its mass production is unmapped. The main [public] debate is about the risk factor in such an invention. The technology is capable of changing the nature of war itself.
The word ‘autonomous’ means ‘capable of existing independently without outside control’. There is no standard definition for LAWS, but accepted and widely used one is, “A weapon system that once activated can select and engage targets without further external intervention by a human operator”- definition given by United States Department of Defense (DOD).
LAWS are infamous as ‘Killer Robots’. LAWS would affect the global politics and would alter international affairs. One needs to look at much needed regulatory doctrines and policies at international and domestic level that need to be framed in detail regarding all aspects of it and be intensely discussed.
Technologies are always exploited for the betterment of civilian population and to upgrade military installations and equipments. Autonomous technology is on the verge of bringing a new revolution in primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. Almost all civilian usage of technology has been partly used militarily. Yet a debate arises when it comes to exploiting technology for making weapons.
The areas related closely to this technology are Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Algorithm and Software Development. This weapon technology is capable of achieving great mobility, good fire power, effective range, more accuracy and more destructive capability. It is argued to be more reliable and cost efficient. This view is contested by scholars who oppose the military exploitation of Autonomous technology on the grounds of morality, ethics and psychology.
Status of development LAWS
Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems are under the research and development stage for offensive as well as defensive purposes. Though on records [correct, on records] there are no such fully autonomous weapons developed yet, [public] scientists have claimed to be able to make weapons fully autonomous in the near future. LAWS can be divided into four parts. Aerial, Naval, Land and Space based LAWS. Naval LAWS can further be divided into surface water LAWS and under water LAWS.
Few nearly autonomous weapon systems, highly automated and extraordinarily automatic systems like Phalanx CIWS, Aegis Combat System, C-RAM (Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar), Samsung SGR-A1 and BAE Systems Taranis (Raptor) are invented and are under trials. LAWS are getting ready to dominate land, water, air and space.
LAWS and Other Countries
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) And Defence Research and
Development Organisation (DRDO) are the only institutions to openly acclaim that they are working on building Autonomous Weapon Systems. United Kingdom opposed complete ban on LAWS. Japan opposed any ban on dual use components of LAWS. France has assured that it would not develop any weapon system which could keep humans away from loop. USA, UK, Israel, Germany, South Korea and Russia are at an advanced stage of Autonomous Systems development. Pakistan seems to want LAWS to be banned internationally. According to Pakistan, ‘development of such weapon systems is against Ottawa treaty’. China’s stand on the issue is not clear yet and it has asked for more debate on the issue in international forums.
Sri Lankan ambassador to UN Ravinath Aryasinha warned the world during a meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS), held within the framework of the CCW in April 2015 at ‘the Palais des Nations’, Geneva that the possession of LAWS could ignite an ‘Arms Race’ and bring ‘Imbalance in the Regions’. LAWS have ensured a worldwide [public but not secret military] debate.
Issues against LAWS
The only reason why many states oppose development and deployment of LAWS is due to challenges in employing them. [Not so. Like all development, it is controlled. There is no free development on planet Earth. That is why US has over 800 military bases overseas.] But a silent [secret] revolution and transformation in the field of unmanned weapon systems is happening and is in need of regulation internationally. [He sounds like a globalist. “A global one world government will save us from rogue independent action.” Rather, unplugging from the machine, de-funding secret programs, inspecting and then arresting all those involved with inhuman experimentation is the path forward.]
- Moral and Ethical Issue. The motive behind technological advancement in military is to reduce casualty. Casualties always carry human and political cost along. This makes the politicians refrain from initiating a war or prolonging a conflict. LAWS will redefine the contact warfare. This will minimize the risk of human cost and increase the success rate of missions undertaken. This may provoke politicians to initiate a conflict or even to prolong conflicts unnecessarily for political gains.As there is no risk of human life involved, there is also risk of politicians undertaking secret operations without asking the legislative members. Also, as there is no human in the loop, LAWS would reduce the war into strange level of robotic games. LAWS would dehumanize and desensitize war. Right to kill humans will be delegated to machines which can identify and mark the target. They can work on set parameters.
- Legal Issues. Can LAWS be legally right to be deployed? The present laws of engagement are inadequate to regulate the use of these new weapons. The countries who are developing LAWS argue that the weapons can fit into the norms of International law of engagement. Law of military necessity, proportionality law and distinction law all hold good. But at the moment, the weaponries technically have not been able to demonstrate its ability in accuracy. Though they can fulfill the law of military necessity, there is doubt of fulfilling later two laws. It is not sure whether an autonomous robotic killing machine can calculate proportionality under norms of international humanitarian law governing the legal use of force in an armed conflict. Also the ability of robotic autonomous machine distinguishing between combatant and civilians is not proved to be 100% successful yet. Another issue is who will be responsible for any mishap caused by these autonomous weapons legally. There are no regulations to decide this.
- Collateral Damage. When human are kept out of loop, it is impossible for international laws to be forced upon a machine. Any machine is always prone to malfunctioning. Climate can also play a major role in malfunctioning of the system. Due to this there is a high chance of collateral damage. So sanctioning of strikes without monitoring cannot be justified. And also the damage cannot be covered under doctrine of necessity.
- Level of Autonomy.How much of autonomy should be given is another debate in the international circuit. Autonomy can be given on three levels. Firstly keeping humans in the loop where operatorswould take the call to kill, secondly keeping humansin the loop where operators can withdraw weapons when needed to and thirdly keeping humans off the loop is where after activating a machine humanscannot stop it.
- Cyber Warfare. Cyber warfare is a threat. LAWS could become soft targets for hackers. They can be hijacked or even can be corrupted and misguided. As LAWS work on a given parameters they also can be manipulated.
- Just War Concept. Is it just to deploy machines against men in a war or a conflict? The “just war” idea morally is against LAWS deployment against human soldiers. If armed men get killed by a machine it is considered as disgrace to a soldier’s life. Giving a machine to take a life would raise a lot many philosophical questions. In simple words, “machine against machine and soldier against soldier is just, but machine against soldier is unjust”. [As if there are really laws of combat.]
- Non-State Actors. One serious question is what if the LAWS end up in hands of terrorists and other non-state actors? [As if the state is not rogue already, as if representatives even know what the military is doing…] Also LAWS are argued to be vulnerable to cyber attacks. There is high risk of non state actors succeeding in attacking robotic weapons? There is a need to ensure security to prevent such chances.
Impact on Global Politics
History is evident on how the politics get affected with employment of any new technology in war successfully. From invention of nuclear war technology USA was successful in ending World War II, but gave rise to the cold war and arms race. [Wrong, Japan was already defeated. The Atomic bombs were exploded to terrorize world.]
The impact on global politics that this autonomous weapon technology could bring is unpredictable. The present status quo in geopolitics will get affected. A new kind of arms race will start taking the spot of nuclear threat politics. International Institutions would get more active. Technology could also lead to regional imbalance. Already the third world has a lot of technological gap with super powers and this would fuel the difference much more.
Challenges to India
Being a leading developing country, India should make solid decisions to make the technology as its own and start investing in research and development. Being surrounded by hostile neighbours, India needs such lethal technology. Pakistan knows that it cannot afford such technology in the near future so it is against LAWS. The Chinese military robotic industry is robust and active. It is high time India to startedresearch and development in this field.
Any innovation cannot be stopped from development. [What!] But innovations in the field of LAWS (Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems) need to be regulated before LAWS surprise humankind like the Fat Man and the Little Boy, that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
India needs to come up with its doctrine on development of LAWS and its deployment. India needs to equate its technological gap with the developed states. India should clearly state its take on LAWS.
India is a fertile land for development of allied technologies of autonomous weapon technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Algorithm and Software development. India should aim at starting a new industrial revolution. Autonomous technology need to be exploited both for civilian use and defence purposes.
Industrial revolution, software revolution, service sector revolution and space technology have made the countries like Britain and USA more prosperous. They initiated and ate the fruits of these technological revolutions. India also is in need of Autonomous weapons in the borders and disputed areas in order to reduce casualty of men. There is necessity of allotting a separate budget to this sector in the future.
- Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems: Need to Distinguish �Lethality� from Technological Advancement and Progress- by Dr Monika Chansoria , Senior Fellow ,CLAWS
- The International-law dimension of Autonomous weapons systems – by Robin Geiss
- India and challenge of Autonomous Weapons – by R. Shashank Reddy
- Law and Ethics for Autonomous Weapon Systems: Why a ban won’t work and how the Laws of War can – by Kenneth Anderson and Matthew C. Waxman
- Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems(LAWS): Conducting a comprehensive weapons review – by Michael W. Meier
- Autonomous Weapons systems and future of war – by Armin Krishnan