The National Peace Council (NPC) has launched its support for the Campaign Against Killer Robots, describing any attempt to accept the robots in Ghana, and Africa in general, as “suicidal.”
According to the Council, Killer robots, also called Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS), should never be entertained at all by Africa, since it would strongly threaten continental security.
“It will be very suicidal to allow Killer Robots to have expression on us,” said George Amoh, acting Executive Secretary of the NPC.
Making a presentation on peace building at a seminar in Accra yesterday, as part of the global campaign to stop killer robots, Mr Amoh said “we are going to be doomed if we allow the system to be introduced in the country.”
Killer robots are fully autonomous weapons systems, designed to choose and hit targets in conflict, completely independent of human instruction. Although none has been deployed, the robots are in various stages of production, with the possibility of countries procuring them to augment their military.
The seminar, organised by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), which is leading the anti-killer robots campaign in Ghana, was to create awareness about the threat posed by LAWS, and justify its rejection by Ghana.
Mr Amoh indicated that the NPC considers any attempt to introduce such robots in Ghana as a threat to national peace and security, adding that “we don’t have the capacity to contain such a threat.”
According to him, the country continue to find it difficult to deal with the security threats from the various sectors, including its borders which continue to be “porous,” adding that any additional threat from LAWS would create immense challenges.
“If you are introducing something that your system cannot contain, it is going to kill you,” Mr Amoh stressed.
He commended the WILPF for leading the global campaign in Ghana, and assured the campaigners of immense support from the Peace Council.
He also urged the government, particularly Parliament to pay attention to the campaign, and consider signing up to the global ban against LAWS.
Dr. Ayo Ayoola Amaale, President of WILPF, in her presentation, said killer robots represent the negative aspect of artificial intelligence, adding that there was an urgent need to stop its design and production.
Once they are produced and allowed to operate, she said the robots would become difficult to control.
“The more it is developed, the cheaper it becomes to be accessed,” she said, fearing that the robots could be used by militia groups to cause mayhem.
Describing armed drones as a precursor to LAWS, she said, deaths and other negative effects of the drones could have been avoided if there had been a campaign against it.
Regarding the state of the campaign in Ghana, she said WILPF was extending the campaign to the Executive and Parliament for the consideration of a national policy to effectively ban LAWS.
As an offshoot of Artificial Intelligence, supporters of LAWS argue that the robots are vital, especially for the use of military operations in protecting territories.
But the anti killer robot campaigners believe the proliferation of the machines without international treaty for regulation is worrisome since it could be misused against civilian populations.
By Edmund Mingle/ adrdaily.com