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File #: 16-821    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Withdrawn
File created: 12/4/2017 Departments: BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DISTRICT 5
On agenda: 12/12/2017 Final action: 12/12/2017
Title: Adopt a resolution calling on the United States Congress to adopt national laws and policies restricting the development and use of fully autonomous weapons and the United Nations to develop an international agreement restricting the development and use of such weapons.
Sponsors: David J. Canepa
Attachments: 1. 20171212_r_Autonomous Weapons JDN Edits.pdf, 2. 20171212_att_letter russell robots
Special Notice / Hearing: None__
Vote Required: Majority

To: Honorable Board of Supervisors
From: Supervisor David Canepa, District 5

Subject: Resolution Regarding Fully Autonomous Weapons

RECOMMENDATION:
title
Adopt a resolution calling on the United States Congress to adopt national laws and policies restricting the development and use of fully autonomous weapons and the United Nations to develop an international agreement restricting the development and use of such weapons.

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BACKGROUND:
The International Committee of the Red Cross has defined "autonomous weapons" as those weapons that are able to "independently select and attach targets, i.e., with autonomy in the 'critical functions' of acquiring, tracking, selecting, and attacking targets." Similarly, the United States Department of Defense classified weapons as autonomous if, "once activated, [they] can select and engage targets without further intervention by a human operator."

Commentators, such as Human Rights Watch and the International Human Rights Clinic at the Harvard Law School have cited to experts in Artificial Intelligence (AI) who have stated that fully autonomous weapons "could be developed for use within years, not decades."

Further, founders and senior leaders of robotics and AI companies from twenty six countries that develop technologies that may be repurposed to develop autonomous weapons have sent an open letter to the United Nations' Convention of Conventional Weapons (CCW), stating that "once developed, [lethal autonomous weapons] will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend."

Many of the signatories to this open letter and other companies that focus on AI and robotics technology that are key to development of autonomous weapons are located in, or have a close connection to the Silicon Valley region, of which the County of San Mateo is a vital part. It is therefore ap...

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