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Human Rights Watch, Mind the Gap: The Lack of Accountability for Killer Robots (Apr. 9, 2015) (full-text).


The next generation of weapons in military arsenals could be "killer robots," machines that would select and destroy specific targets without further human intervention. But if a robot broke the law, who would be held responsible? Would the programmer, manufacturer, military commander, or robot end up in court?

This 38-page report details significant hurdles to assigning personal accountability for the actions of fully autonomous weapons under both criminal and civil law. It also elaborates on the consequences of failing to assign legal responsibility.

The report is jointly published by Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic.