Policy Guidance: Autonomy in Defence Systems

34 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2014 Last revised: 20 Nov 2014

Date Written: October 29, 2014


Drawing from the findings of a collaborative project between several nations and NATO Allied Command Transformation, this document offers policy guidance to senior leadership in government defence organisations, industry, and academia. The guidance aims to facilitate planning and preparation for the design, procurement and operation of systems with autonomous capabilities, and to realise the impressive benefits while avoiding potential challenges. The document covers the implications of the definitions for autonomous systems; key legal issues regarding weaponized systems with autonomous capability; ethical, human factors and military concerns; and gives guidance for future research and capability development.

Note: This guidance was developed and written by a select team of experts as part of the Multinational Capability Development Campaign over an 18-month time period. The lead authors were Mr. Andy Williams and LtCol Artur Kuptel from the NATO ACT. The legal team of experts included Jeffrey S. Thurnher.

Keywords: Autonomy, Autonomous Weapon, Law of Armed Conflict, Lethal Autonomous Robot, LARs, Automated, International Humanitarian Law, Law of War, Drone

Suggested Citation

Kuptel, Artur and Williams, Andrew, Policy Guidance: Autonomy in Defence Systems (October 29, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2524515 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2524515

Artur Kuptel (Contact Author)

MCDC NATO-ACT ( email )

Norfolk, VA
United States

Andrew Williams

MCDC NATO-ACT ( email )

Norfolk, VA
United States

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