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How ‘killer robots’ can alter the warfare and border control

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A rapidly developing weapon system, killer robots can choose to attack what they see as a threat, which includes humans, who will have no control over them.

With no human assistance, killer robots making decisions about humans could be a science fiction movie-worthy scenario.

But Amnesty International says we are now facing the unthinkable – “Killer robots are not a future problem anymore.”

Human rights organisations warn that they’re already functional, heavily invested, and can be a grave threat to humanity.

Here’s what you need to know about these killer machines.

A product of AI and new technology 

What human rights organisations call “killer robots” are crewless combat aerial vehicles or lethal autonomous weapons systems, also known as LAWS.

These systems are powered by the most evolved artificial intelligence. Thanks to augmented reality (AR) technology, killer robots use facial recognition, movement sensors and the ability to attack humans with a mind of its own or with no meaningful human control.

These lethal autonomous weapons systems are “programmed to attack targets without requiring data connectivity between the operator and the munition: in effect, a true ‘fire, forget and find’ capability,” a 2021 report commissioned by the United Nations said.

It means the weapon is able to guide itself to attack a target after it’s fired.

They can take “unethical” life and death decisions

But human rights organisations have been pointing out that machines should be charged to take complex ethical decisions.

“They lack compassion and understanding, they make decisions based on biased, flawed and oppressive processes,” Amnesty International said on November 4, in a petition launched with the partnership of Stop Killer Robots.

“Emerging technologies like facial and vocal recognition often fail in recognising women, people of colour and persons with disabilities. This means that autonomous weapons can never be adequately programmed to substitute human decision making,” the human rights group explained.

A similar concern was raised in a study that discovered that a popular artificial intelligence model was extremely biased.

The text it generated persistently assembles sentences linking Muslims with violence the most, while also targeting certain religious groups, including Jews and some races.

The future of warfare and border control

Amnesty says these weapons could be used in conflict zones, by police forces and in border control.

This could change the direction of modern warfare as machines replaced with troops would allow countries to go to war much easier.

However, the campaigners say the machines are prone to fail to make decisions in unexpected real-world battlefield scenarios.

But warfare isn’t the only area that the campaigners say would be affected by weapons equipped with increasing autonomy.

If it became widespread, the police forces could use the help of these systems – a possible threat to freedom of expression and the right to protest.

Amidst a worldwide refugee crisis caused by wars and border disputes, killer robots also could be deployed for border control to monitor refugees fleeing conflict.

But while Human rights organisations are particularly concerned about the fragility of these systems, the race to obtain and develop these weapons could create a further catastrophe.

“The concern that these weapons might misidentify targets is the least of our worries,” James Dawes, a professor at Macalester College in St Paul, Minn, who has written about autonomous weapons, told the New York Times in June.

“More significant is the threat of an AWS arms race and proliferation crisis,” he said, referring to Amazon Web Services, the leading public cloud solutions vendor.

AWS has taken the unprecedented move of producing its own server processors based on the Arm architecture.

Human rights groups call for urgent regulation 

Human Rights Watch says “killer robots” are no less a threat to humanity than climate change and “deserves urgent multilateral action.”

The issue is a matter of concern to the United Nations as well since 2013, with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling them “morally repugnant and politically unacceptable.”

Ninety-seven countries have responded to the Secretary General’s call by discussing the concerns regarding the ‘killer robots’ but half the world’s countries have not given their views, hence a report by HRW.

Despite the concerns, the US, China, Israel, South Korea, Russia, Australia, India, and the UK continue to invest in these weapons.

“We have had a decade of talks on autonomous weapons at the United Nations, but these are being blocked by the same states that are developing the weapons,” said Ousman Noor of the Stop Killer Robots campaign.

“We need a robust, legally binding international treaty to stop the proliferation of killer robots – before it’s too late,” said Amnesty in its recent petition call.

A group of UN experts will meet to decide whether to begin negotiating new international law on autonomy in weapons systems in December this year.

Source: TRT World

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Maldives to experience rain nationwide on voting day

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Meteorological Center (MET Office) has reported Maldives will experience rainfall nationwide on Sunday, amid the parliamentary election.

MET Office on Saturday forecasts heavy rainfall accompanied with thunder from Laamu atoll to Addu atoll. The authority also forecasts rainfall from central parts to northern atolls as well.

The weather authority also reported that the winds speeds will be between 5 to 15 miles per hour nationwide.

Despite rainfall nationwide, the seas would not be rough to interrupt sea transportation, MET added.

With many already traveling to their home islands to cast vote in the parliamentary election, the government has already announced Monday, April 22nd will be a public holiday as well.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Middle East countries voice concern over military escalation after alleged Israeli attack on Iran

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Countries in the Middle East have voiced their concern over military escalation in the region after Israel on Friday allegedly struck sites near the city of Isfahan, central Iran, in what appeared to be its military response to Iran’s recent retaliatory attack.

In a statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry called on the two sides to exercise the utmost restraint and to fully comply with the rules of international law and the UN Charter, warning against widening the conflict and instability in the region.

Egypt stressed that it will continue to intensify communications with all concerned and influential parties to contain the ongoing escalation and tension.

In addition, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the ministry “is constantly monitoring the tension in the region,” expressing its deep concern about the attack targeting Isfahan on Friday morning.

The ministry said that the escalation must not distract attention from the destruction and loss of innocent lives in the Gaza Strip, renewing its call on the international community to perform its duties and work to stop the suffering of the Palestinian people, according to the statement.

Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi on Friday stressed the need to reduce the dangerous escalation in the region and reiterated that “Jordan will not allow it to be turned into an arena of conflict between Iran and Israel and to endanger its security and the safety of its citizens.”

Safadi, who also serves as the Jordanian foreign minister, added on social media platform X that “the current escalation only serves to divert attention away from the Israeli aggression on Gaza, stopping which must be the priority.”

The Israeli attack came after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps confirmed Saturday that it had launched missile and drone attacks on Israel in retaliation for earlier airstrikes by Israel on April 1 on the Iranian consulate building in the Syrian capital of Damascus, which killed seven Iranians.

So far, Israel has not officially acknowledged the strikes on Isfahan, while Iran has not publicly accused Israel of carrying them out.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Foreign Ministry on Friday condemned the Israeli strikes on Syrian military sites earlier in the day as a flagrant violation of Syrian sovereignty and a threat to regional stability.

In a statement, the ministry warned that such actions could escalate tensions in the region, potentially leading to a broader conflict, and urged the international community, including the UN Security Council, to condemn the attack and take decisive measures to halt the “crimes” committed by Israel.

In the early hours of Friday, the Israeli military launched a series of airstrikes targeting Syrian air defense sites in the southern region, according to the Syrian Defense Ministry. The strikes caused material losses, while no casualties were reported, it added.

The attack was also confirmed by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reported that more than six Israeli aircraft were observed flying intensively in southern Syria.

The radar battalion responsible for monitoring the airspace, located in the east of Syria’s Daraa province, was targeted, the war monitor added.

Source(s): CGTN

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This is a golden opportunity to cooperate with a government: President

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President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu states this is a golden opportunity for a parliament that will cooperate with a government that wants to produce results.

Speaking at a meeting with Addu City constituents residing in Male’ City on Friday night, the President said his administration’s only focus is to produce results.

He described the upcoming parliament election as a golden opportunity for a parliament that will cooperate with a government that wants to produce results.

“My focus is on results, nothing else. It is results that the people want, is it not? The result of development and the result of stability, is that not what people have been wanting?” he questioned.

Speaking further, President Muizzu, underscoring the nation had not seen the desired number of changes in the past years, said his administration will not spend time on anything other than producing results.

“This is truly a golden opportunity. You are receiving a golden opportunity to pave the way for full cooperation necessary within the parliament to a government that is solely focused on producing results,” he said.

Citing the aforementioned reasons, he urged the public to vote for ruling PPM-PNC coalition’s candidates contesting in the parliamentary election slated for Sunday.

MDP has the largest number of candidates contesting this parliamentary election at 90 constituencies, followed by PPM-PNC coalition at 89 constituencies.

A total of 368 candidates are contesting for 93 constituencies.

Polling stations will be open from 8:00am to 5:30pm on Sunday; a decision made by the Elections Commission earlier today, which is undertaking final preparations for the election.

Source(s): sun.mv

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