Sample responses from a survey on lethal autonomous weapons (LAWS)

What do you think is the main reason for supporting the development and use of LAWS in battlefields?

Total: 923

Cost of war will be cheaper to use LAWS than ROWS* 13.2%
Autonomous machines will make more ethical life/death decisions than humans 8.0%
LAWS will save human military personnel from psychological harm of war, such as PTSD 14.8%
LAWS will save human military personnel from physical harm of war 18.2%
Development of LAWS will lead to the development of useful, non-military technologies 7.4%
There are no valid reasons for developing and using LAWS over ROWS 31.7%
Other 6.6%

What do you think is the main reason for rejecting the development and use of LAWS in battlefields?

Total: 924

The risk of the technology falling into the wrong hands is too big 13.5%
Humans should always be the one to make life/death decisions (i.e. it is wrong for machines to make the decision) 33.7%
It is uncertain who will be responsible when things go wrong 11.5%
LAWS will kill more lives than it will save 7.7%
It is doubtful that LAWS technology of the near future will be technically robust and reliable enough to be trusted 19.8%
There are no valid reasons for rejecting the development and use of LAWS over ROWS 5.0%
Other 8.9%

Survey conducted by UBC-based ORi. Full survey results and analysis can be found at www.openroboethics.org

* Remotely Operated Weapons Systems: weaponized systems in which a person in a remote location makes the decision

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