GENEVA / LETHAL AUTONOMOUS WEAPONS

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27-Aug-2018 00:03:53
The United Nations’ Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) resumed today at the UN headquarters in Geneva its second meeting to discuss among states options for addressing the human rights, humanitarian, ethical and security challenges posed by fully autonomous weapons systems. UNTV CH

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GENEVA / LETHAL AUTONOMOUS WEAPONS
TRT: 3:53
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTION: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 27 AUGUST 2018, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, meeting room from above
3. Wide shot, zoom out screen on podium
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Anja Kaspersen, Director of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs:
“The United Nations stands ready to support the efforts of member states in elaborating new measures to ensure that humans remain in control of the use of force”.
5. Wide shot, podium
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Anja Kaspersen, Director of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs: “Arms control is at the inter-section of technology and security and therefore has always been responsive to trends and developments in science and technology. There is however concern, that today’s development threatens to outpace inter-governmental normative and regulatory responses.”
7.Various shots, participants
8. Wide shot, podium press briefing room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Amandeep Singh Gill, Chairman of the Group of Governmental Experts on Emerging Technologies in the Area of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems:
“After a good discussion in April this year we are looking at this issue of characterization from different angles. We have come to an understanding that if we are to make progress, we should take into account technical characteristics, but given the technology is moving so fast, we should rely more on the aspect of human responsibility, human account ability. That also fits in better with the context of this convention which is about international humanitarian law.”
10. Wide shot, journalists
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Amandeep Singh Gill, Chairman of the Group of Governmental Experts on Emerging Technologies in the Area of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems:
“Problems don’t come from technology alone. It is how humans relate to technology that creates the challenges. So we found a way to slice the human machine interface into sections which make it easier for us to see what are the touch points for human intervention. So whether it is at the pre-design phase in terms of all overall guiding principles or it is at the design and development phase or eventually at the testing and validation phase where you could have things like weapons review under Article 36 of Protocol 1 to the Geneva conventions coming or it is in the actual use and about phase where a system is making a mistake and you are able to intervene and stop that mistake or audit mistakes and make sure that these are not repeated. So we found a degree of understanding on the various touch points for human intervention.”
12. Med shot, camerawomen and journalists
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Amandeep Singh Gill, Chairman of the Group of Governmental Experts on Emerging Technologies in the Area of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems:
“The three options or pathways that we looked at are one, a legally binding instrument, just as you mention, so in the context of the CCW that would be a protocol an and additional protocol to the existing file, the other option that has been discussed is a politically binding declaration with some rules of the law, with a degree of transparency built into it with a degree of tech-review built in it. Because technology is evolving very fast and every 6 months there are new developments. That is the second option that has been looked at it. Another option that has been talked about is that what we need to do is clarify how existing law applies to these emerging technologies.”
14. Med shot, journalists
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Amandeep Singh Gill, Chairman of the Group of Governmental Experts on Emerging Technologies in the Area of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems:
“I would say we made considerable progress on coming to a common understanding. We looked at the technical characteristics, we looked at the human characteristics, we looked at other approaches, levels of autonomy and so on. And we are coming to a common understanding hopefully that should be captured in our outcome by the end of the week about what is the best possible approach to definition.”
16. Close up, photographer
17. Med shot, journalists

STORYLINE:

The United Nations’ Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) resumed today at the UN headquarters in Geneva its second meeting to discuss among states options for addressing the human rights, humanitarian, ethical and security challenges posed by fully autonomous weapons systems.

These meetings are taking place within the framework of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW).

At the opening session today (27 Aug), Anja Kaspersen, Director of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, conveyed the message on behalf of Izumi Nakamitsu, the UN’s High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, saying that “the United Nations stands ready to support the efforts of member states in elaborating new measures to ensure that humans remain in control of the use of force.”

She added that “arms control is at the inter-section of technology and security and therefore has always been responsive to trends and developments in science and technology. There is however concern, that today’s development threatens to outpace inter-governmental normative and regulatory responses.”

A wide array of stakeholders, including many of the 125 High Contracting Parties to the CCW, as well as representatives of international organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia, industry and civil society are participating in the meeting till 31 August.

The development of military robots and autonomous weapons systems is progressing rapidly. During this weeklong gathering, experts are to discuss ways to define and deal with lethal autonomous weapons systems that could conduct war without human intervention.

Speaking to the media today in Geneva, Ambassador Amandeep Singh Gill, GGE Chairman on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS), resumed that “after a good discussion in April this year we are looking at this issue of characterization from different angles. We have come to an understanding that if we are to make progress, we should take into account technical characteristics. But given the technology is moving so fast, we should rely more on the aspect of human responsibility, human account ability. That also fits in better with the context of this convention which is about international humanitarian law.”

The majority of states emphasized at the last CCW meeting in April 2018 the importance of retaining human control over weapons systems and the use of force, and expressed support for developing new international law on lethal autonomous weapons systems. Some states called for a total ban, others for a new CCW protocol to prohibit the use to fully autonomous weapons systems. A number of states oppose creating legally binding prohibitions, including governments who are already known to be developing autonomous weapons systems.

Ambassador Amandeep Singh Gill said “the three options or pathways that we looked at are one, a legally binding instrument, so in the context of the CCW that would be a protocol an and additional protocol to the existing file.”

He continued “the other option that has been discussed is a politically binding declaration with some rules of the law, with a degree of transparency built into it with a degree of tech-review built in it. Because technology is evolving very fast and every 6 months there are new developments. That is the second option that has been looked at it. Another option that has been talked about is that what we need to do is clarify how existing law applies to these emerging technologies.”

Ambassador Amandeep Singh Gill emphasized that “problems don’t come from technology alone. It is how humans relate to technology that creates the challenges. So we found a way to slice the human machine interface into sections which make it easier for us to see what are the touch points for human intervention”.

He added that “whether it is at the pre-design phase in terms of all overall guiding principles or it is at the design and development phase or eventually at the testing and validation phase where you could have things like weapons review under Article 36 of Protocol 1 to the Geneva conventions coming or it is in the actual use and about phase where a system is making a mistake and you are able to intervene and stop that mistake or audit mistakes and make sure that these are not repeated. So we found a degree of understanding on the various touch points for human intervention.”

The degree of autonomous weapons is steadily increasing, due to rapid progress in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. Machines are now capable of learning; they process experience by means of artificial neural networks similar to the human brain.

A robot that autonomously seeks, recognises and defuses mines may generally be accepted, while a robot that autonomously seeks, recognises and shoots people clearly contravenes international humanitarian law.

Gill said “I would say we made considerable progress on coming to a common understanding,” adding that “we looked at the technical characteristics, we looked at the human characteristics, we looked at other approaches, levels of autonomy and so on. And we are coming to a common understanding hopefully that should be captured in our outcome by the end of the week about what is the best possible approach to definition.”
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