Last Wednesday, November 20, the Casa de Cultura de Sant Cugat del Vallès hosted the Conference “The arrival of the Killers Robots” by the global coordinator of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and Advocacy Director of the Arms Division at Human Rights Watch, Mary Wareham. This conference was part of the launch of the report by the Centre Delàs d'Estudis per la Pau "New weapons against ethics and people: armed drones and autonomous drones" which was presented on the same day in collaboration with the international campaign. Pere Brunet, the report’s coordinator and researcher at the Centre Delàs and Joaquín Rodríguez Álvarez, member of ICRAC and the Stop Killer Robots Campaign, also Professor at the School of Prevention and Integral Security (EPSI) and Associate Professor at the Department of Administrative Law at the UAB; were the people in charge of accompanying Mary Wareham at the table to present the most prominent data and the main conclusions contained in this new publication.
Tica Font, member of the Centre Delàs and also author of the report, welcomed the event and introduced Mary Wareham who landed in Barcelona after days of advocacy work at the UN CCW meetings in Geneva to push for a firm treaty banning autonomous weapons. The coordinator of the global campaign explained what the so-called “killer robots” are and what is the urgency that makes the Stop Killer Robots campaign working for this treaty. “An ethical line has been crossed when the ability to decide about people's lives is given to machines. That is why the Stop Killer Robots campaign is working for the vital creation of a treaty to ban lethal autonomous weapons”, pointed Wareham, “how to ensure accountability in the case of lethal autonomous weapons? When the mistake of a machine means human lives, who will take responsibility? This is one of the biggest concerns”.
Joaquín Rodriguez Álvarez explained how has evolved the campaign’s work in Spain, as well as the government's position so far in international negotiations on the regulation and prohibition of this type of weapon.
Finally, Pere Brunet explained the contents of the publication which analyses the current escalation towards autonomous armed systems and their ethical and legal implications, since they delegate the decisions to kill to a machine, which is contrary to human dignity and the human’s rights. The report provides an overall analysis of the current state of development of armed drones and autonomous drones and the companies and countries behind them, while exploring the ethical and legal implications of the escalation of these weapons and what the international effort against autonomous armament is being.
About thirty people participated in this event which was organized by the Centre Delàs d'Estudis per la Pau with the collaboration of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, and was supported by the City Council of Sant Cugat del Vallès.
Mary Wareham’s visit continued the next day at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona where she explained the campaign to the students of the Degree in Prevention and Integral Safety.