Vatican: ‘Killer robots’ pose threat to innocent civilians

The use of ‘killer robots’ and other lethal autonomous weapons systems violate international treaties because innocent civilians could be erroneously targeted, the Vatican said during a UN meeting in Geneva.

The potential of having “swarms of ‘kamikaze’ mini-drones” and other advanced weaponry using artificial intelligence raises “serious implications for peace and security,” the Vatican permanent observer mission to UN agencies in Geneva said in a statement Aug. 3 to the 2021 Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS).

“The use of swarms in urban areas could lead to high risks for civilians,” the statement said. “If functioning without any direct human supervision, such systems could make mistakes in identifying the intended targets due to some unidentified ‘bias’ induced by their ‘self-learning capabilities’ developed from a limited set of data samples.”

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