The chief of Suhum in the Eastern Region, Osabarimah Aye Kofi, has called on chiefs and queen mothers to use festivals in their traditional areas to support the campaign to stop importation of ‘killer robots’ to the country. This, he says, is to preserve the peace of the country.
He has also appealed to the government and Parliament to enact laws to prevent the manufacturing and sale of autonomous weapons referred to as ‘Killer Robots’.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a day’s workshop organized by the International Humanitarian Relief and Rescue initiative (HRRI), he encouraged the use of robots as artificial intelligence for development and not for criminal or violence purposes.
The workshop was to sensitise chiefs and queen mothers of the Eastern Region on the Campaign to stop killer robot.
The queen mother of Suhum Overhead, Nana Afro Odekye, also urged queen mother associations across the country to add their voices to the campaign to help save the lives of the vulnerable, particularly women and children.
Country Representative of Ed’s World Inc, Arthur Emmanuel, said the autonomous weapons could only be stopped if developing countries like Ghana signed the international treaty to ban the killer robots. He said the weapons are mostly produced in China, South Korea, Russia, and the United States.
President of WILPF Ghana and the National Coordinator of the Campaign to in Ghana, Dr (Mrs) Ayoola Amale, said the usage of festivals by chiefs would easily help communicate the message of the campaign.
“Contrary to the belief that the killer robots could end sexual violence; they will likely perpetuate it as fully autonomous weapons and would not question an order to rape if programmed to do so.
“Killer Robots would be even less likely to disobey orders to commit rape than human soldiers due to their lack of conscience, empathy, or understanding of the act or consequences of sexual violence,” she said.
Mr Godwin Onogwu, the Project Manager of IHRRI, called on the participants to pass on the campaign message to others who could not make it to the workshop due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
He explained that killer robots were weapon systems that select and engage targets based on sensor inputs systems. The objects to be attacked were decided by sensor processing and not by humans. This raises legal, ethical, technical, and security concerns.
“They would cross the threshold of acceptability and should be prevented and out-rightly prohibited,” Mr Onogwu urged.
The theme of the workshop was: “Add your voices to the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and make the world safe.”