Inside Story

Can we stop killer robots?

The United Nations has held talks on banning weapons that can target and kill without a human controlling them.

Killer robots may sound like the name of a science fiction film, but they could soon become a reality.

Scientists say artificial intelligence has developed so quickly that we could soon see weapons that can choose a target and kill without being controlled by a human. 

The United Nations has held five days of talks in Geneva, Switzerland, on banning what are known as lethal autonomous weapons.

But the United States, Russia, Israel and the United Kingdom are against any restrictions, saying these developments could make war safer. 

How likely are killer robots? And are we prepared for them?

Presenter: Divya Gopalan


Will Crosthwait – Cofounder of KENSAI, an artificial analysis consultancy company

Mariarosaria Taddeo – Research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute

Toby Cadman – Internet human rights lawyer and barrister at Guernica37 International Justice Chambers