Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (‘LAWS’) are here.

Technological development will see them become widespread in the near future. This is in a matter of years rather than decades. Governments need well-considered guidance for a decision on the general policy direction for LAWS, especially now, while the development, application and use of these technologies are under debate. While there is widespread opposition to LAWS (or ‘killer robots’, as they are popularly called) and a growing campaign advocates banning them outright, Prof Tom Simpson and his co-author, Prof Vincent Müller, argue the opposite.

This policy memo sets out five recommendations for policymakers to establish guidelines and systems to regulate LAWS.