Skip to Content
Policy

Germany says it won’t use killer robots, but soldiers are torn

February 16, 2018

Autonomous weapons remain incredibly controversial, and the debate even extends to the soldiers that might be working with them.

Germany says no: At this week’s Munich Security Conference, notes Reuters, the head of Germany’s Cyber and Information Space Command spoke out against killer robots. “We have a very clear position,” explained Lieutenant General Ludwig Leinhos. “We have no intention of procuring ... autonomous systems.”

Soldiers are mixed:  Politico notes that while many soldiers may support the use of killer robots, Leinhos isn’t alone in his views. Marcel Dickow, an autonomous weapons expert from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, says there’s a “rift running through essentially every military” about them right now.

But: Organizations like the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and the Future of Life Institute have been lobbying the United Nations to ban autonomous weapons for years. While 22 countries have said they won’t use them, the UN has yet to take any action.

Deep Dive

Policy

A brief, weird history of brainwashing

L. Ron Hubbard, Operation Midnight Climax, and stochastic terrorism—the race for mind control changed America forever.

Why the Chinese government is sparing AI from harsh regulations—for now

The Chinese government may have been tough on consumer tech platforms, but its AI regulations are intentionally lax to keep the domestic industry growing.

Eric Schmidt: Why America needs an Apollo program for the age of AI

Advanced computing is core to the security and prosperity of the US. We need to lay the groundwork now.

AI was supposed to make police bodycams better. What happened?

New AI programs that analyze bodycam recordings promise more transparency but are doing little to change culture.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.