Limits on Autonomy in Weapon Systems

02 June 2020
Limits on Autonomy in Weapon Systems

There is wide recognition that the need to preserve human control over weapon systems and the use of force in armed conflict will require limits on autonomous weapon systems.

This report from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) offers in-depth analysis of the type and degree of human control that is required to mitigate the risks posed by autonomous weapons. It proposes three types of control measures to reduce or compensate for the unpredictability introduced by autonomous weapons and associated risks for civilians: controls on the weapon's parameters such as types of targets, controls on the environment of use and controls in the form of human supervision.

Limits on Autonomy in Weapon Systems: Identifying Practical Elements of Human Control is a comprehensive examination of the specific controls on AWS needed to ensure human control over the use of force, and to address legal, ethical and operational concerns. It provides policymakers with practical guidance on how these control measures should form the basis of internationally agreed limits on autonomous weapons — whether new rules, standards or best practices.

ICRC SIPRI Limits on Autonomy — June 2020