A new discussion paper argues that ‘target profiles’ can provide a basis for developing rules to preserve ethical standards and enable meaningful human control over systems that apply force on the basis of sensors.

All systems that, during their use, independently identify and then strike targets must use target profiles, which are the set of conditions under which such a system will apply force. They are a technical necessity for the functioning of such systems, but they are also important as a basis upon which operators understand the utility and capabilities of a system.

This paper builds on Article 36’s statement to the March 2019 session of the Group of Governmental Experts to the CCW.  It suggests that by applying rules regarding the parameters of target profiles, and obligations on the use of such systems, a framework can be constructed that has broad utility, is flexible in the face of future technological developments and can address the primary concerns raised around ‘autonomy’ in weapons systems.

Download this paper

Target profiles

An initial consideration of ‘target profiles’ as a basis for rule-making in the context of discussions on autonomy in weapons systems. August 2019



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