Autonomous weapon systems
Type of event:
Public Expert Discussion
Deutscher Bundestag, Paul-Löbe-Haus
15.00 - 17.30
What was it about?
Weapon systems that can select and engage targets without human intervention were, not so long ago, the exclusive domain of science fiction. Technological advances made in recent years in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence have now brought this notion to the threshold of concrete implementation.
The pros and cons of autonomous weapons systems are the subject of controversy: For some, they are a blessing, as they can be used to take soldiers out of harm's way. For others, they are a curse, as they increasingly transfer the decision to use lethal force to unscrupulous machines. On behalf of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment, TAB has produced a report that comprehensively addresses technical aspects, ethical considerations and international policy issues in the context of autonomous weapons systems.
The newly published TAB report on autonomous weapon systems provided the occasion for scientists to have their say on the multifaceted aspects of the topic and for members of parliament and the interested public to have the opportunity to clarify questions and take a stand in the context of the public expert discussion.
Moderation of the expert discussion and introduction
Topic block I: Technology/application scenarios
Topic Block II: Ethics/International Law/UN Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW)
Topic Block III: Political Classification
Statements of the parliamentary groups of the Bundestag and final discussion
End of the event
The expert discussion was broadcast live on parliamentary television. Members of the German Bundestag were able to actively participate via the video conferencing tool WebEx . The public also had the opportunity to ask questions to the experts via the adhocracy+ platform.
- Autonomous weapon systems. TAB-Fokus. Policy brief in English
- Project page
- Autonome Waffensysteme - Endbericht zum TA-Projekt.
Grünwald, R.; Kehl, C. 2020. Full project report in German
- Autonome Waffensysteme: Wenn Maschinen über Leben und Tod entscheiden. Documentation of the expert discussion at bundestag.de
Recording of the event
(only in German)