Article 36 has released a five-episode podcast series to elaborate on our explainer leaflet ‘Regulating Autonomy in Weapons Systems’, which set out a basic model of how a treaty to address autonomous weapons could be structured.

The episodes address different parts of the structure of key elements we believe should form the basis of a legal instrument.

International discussions on ‘autonomy’ in weapons systems are building towards a common understanding of the prohibitions and other obligations needed to preserve human dignity and ensure meaningful human control.

The episodes of the podcast elaborate in more depth on what an effective framework could look like, allowing for more focus on the details for each component of the solution:

Episode 1- Applying force based on sensors, addresses the scope of weapons systems under discussion.  Episode 2 – Target profiles and labels gives an entry point for understanding the technical aspect of autonomous weapons — and the basis for the technical scope of the systems that we argue should be subject to bans and regulation. Episode 4 – Machines not targeting people takes the listener through arguments for a clear prohibition on any autonomous system targeting people as they are deemed fundamentally unacceptable.

Addressing the issue of how human control can be maintained over remaining systems, in order to adequately uphold both legal obligations and more profound moral and ethical principles are Episode 3- Control of systems in time & space, as well as Episode 5 – Predictability & understanding technology. These two episodes bring some of the arguments and discussion points that we see as essential to include in the discussion of effective regulation.

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