To ensure law enforcement and policing operations are undertaken legally, autonomous weapon systems would require to effectively evaluate the extent to which there was a potential threat of serious injury and death and determine precisely the individual (s) posing a threat. Also, AWS will need to consider if force is required to neutralize the potential threat and what means exist other than force.1 To make the issue even complex, every situation would need a varying and unique reaction resulting in an exceedingly multifaceted challenge requiring complex algorithms. It is unlikely that autonomous weapon systems without employing meaningful human control can judge and comply with the standards particularly the unpredictable and irregular situations. In an open letter dated 2013, engineers, roboticists, computer scientists and artificial intelligence professionals from 37 nations argued that in the absence of a precise scientific evidence that AWS have or would have in the conceivable future, the functionalities needed for precise identification of targets, situational alertness or decision concerning the relative deployment of force, robot weapons are unlikely to meet the legal standards regarding the use of force.2 Consequently, the group indicated that due to the limitations and unidentified future risks of the AWS technologies, the decision regarding the deployment of force must not be left to computers.
The use of AWS is argued to have a negative impact on the rights to peaceful assembly and the freedom of expression. At the domestic level, lethal autonomous robots can be deployed by the state to suppress the state enemies or terrorize the community at large. According to Amnesty International, due to the grave implications of AWS technologies and the existing obligation of the states based on the International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law, the burden should rest on the nations that would like to create and use AWS first to demonstrate how the deployment of each kind of AWS would fully abide by international human right standards during operations.3;4