Activists at UN campaign against killer robots

Peace activists are calling for a global treaty to ban autonomous weapons that can kill people without human intervention.

International NGO Human Rights Watch initiated the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots in 2013. It is now supported by 130 groups in 60 countries, including Japan.

Representatives spoke to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday while the General Assembly's disarmament committee was meeting.

They brought a 150-centimeter tall robot that repeatedly called for negotiations on a treaty.

The representatives explained that the continuing development of weapons using artificial intelligence could lead to the spread of killer robots capable of indiscriminately killing and injuring humans.

They called for a legally binding treaty to ban such a development. They asked for support from countries taking part in the committee and from members of the public.

They said some representatives had visited Japan's Foreign Ministry to ask that the country take the initiative, as it did in a campaign to ban anti-personnel mines.

However, wide differences remain between countries that are actively seeking regulations and those, including the United States, that see no such need. The campaign's challenge will be to deepen global debate.