This week Stop Killer Robots, with several members of UK campaign, attended Humanity at the Crossroads, the Austrian government’s high-level meeting on autonomous weapons. This was the largest meeting on this this topic outside of the United Nations with 144 states in attendance and over 1,000 participants. Attendees listened to two days of panel discussions from state officials, civil society, industry, academia.  Following this states and civil society gave statements to the room. A member of Stop Killer Robots’s youth network and global campaign member organisation…delivered the campaign’s statemet member of our Youth Network and member organisation Dhesarme, Hevelyn Ghizzi, delivered a statement on the urgent need for new international law.

This meeting saw an overwhelming number of states affirm the need for regulation stating the need for new International law to regulate AI in weapons systems. Despite this the UK’s statement to the conference was mixed. On one hand the UK committed to safe and responsible use of AI in military technology, reiterated the principal of meaningful human control, and promised that UK would ensure that “illegal, unsafe or unethical [users] are identified, attributed and held to account”. On the other, the UK also rejected any new legally binding treaty and argued that the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and existing international humanitarian law held sufficient safeguards.

The meeting concluded with a Chair’s Summary of the conference, which stressed that “human control must prevail in the use of force” and that technology should “empower people, not dehumanize them”.