Beyond Deadlock

Low Hanging Fruit and Strict yet Achievable Options in AWS Regulation




Autonomous Weapons Systems, Killer Robots, Military Ethics, Ethics of War, Ethics of Technology, arms control, no first use policy, International Humanitarian Law, Laws of Armed Conflict


Efforts to ban Autonomous Weapon Systems were both unsuccessful and controversial. Simultaneously the need to address the detrimental aspects of AWS development and proliferation continues to grow in scope and urgency. The article presents several regulatory solutions capable of addressing the issue while simultaneously respecting the requirements of military necessity and so attracting a broad consensus. Two much stricter solutions – regional AWS bans and adoption of a no first use policy – are also presented as fallback strategies in case achieving AWS’ compliance with the Laws of Armed Conflict proved elusive. Together, the solutions presented form an outline of a flexible regulatory strategy able to adjust to different technological outcomes and providing a sensible compromise to solve the current deadlock on the AWS issue.


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How to Cite

Zajac, M. (2022). Beyond Deadlock: Low Hanging Fruit and Strict yet Achievable Options in AWS Regulation. Journal of Ethics and Emerging Technologies, 32(2), 1–14.

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