Killer Robots Event Kicks Off CIC Halifax’s 2018 program
On January 24, 2018, Paul Hannon, Executive Director of Mines Action Canada, spoke to CIC Halifax members and guests about the International Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.
Drawing on lessons from the 1997 Ottawa Land Mines Treaty, Mr. Hannon outlined the campaign to keep killer robots fiction and indicated that 2018 is decision time, given the speed of technological change.
The Canadian-led effort to ban landmines demonstrated clearly it is better to ban a weapon before it is used rather than try to ban it after it has created a global humanitarian crisis. Canada is a member state of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, which seeks to prohibit or restrict weapons considered excessively injurious or whose effects are indiscriminate, and will participate in sessions in Geneva this year.
Supporters of a ban include key members of the military, as well as the technology community in both Canada and the U.S. And, there is a precedent, in that blinding lasers were banned before use.
This engaging presentation was followed by a lively discussion period. Participants suggested that non-state actors also needed to be considered, and that a leadership role on this issue could contribute to Canada’s campaign for a Security Council seat.