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Autonomy is emerging as a central element of the technological realm. Amongst other domains, its scope has also extended to warfare. Technologies such as Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS) are redefining the scope of autonomy. Humans are less hesitant to materialise the idea of machines making critical decisions, such as target selection and engagement. The arms technology race in LAWS, particularly between the United States and China, is reflective of the fact that a ban on such systems will not be in the offing in the foreseeable future. The introduction of this technology will certainly make the battlefield more complex and uncertain. The Working Paper aims to shed light on the implications and consequences of LAWS on the battlefield or during conflicts, such as dehumanisation of decision-making, unpredictability, lower cost of war, accountability gaps and diffusion/proliferation and impact on unintended responses and stability. The paper will conclude with brief recommendations to mitigate the dangers posed by this technology.

Working Paper

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