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MEPs call for ban on 'killer robots'

The European Parliament has called for a ban on "killer robots".

The parliamentary body for the European Union has passed a resolution calling for an international ban on autonomous weapon systems that are said to be able to kill without human intervention, despite such technologies not actually in production as of yet.

Last month, the UN failed to reach a consensus on the issue with some countries saying the benefits of autonomous weapons should be explored, but now politicians in Europe have said it could become a security issue if some countries allowed such weapons while others did not.

Federica Mogherini, the EU chief of foreign and security policy, said: "I know this might look like a debate about some distant future or about science fiction. It's not."

Whilst Bodil Valero, security policy spokeswoman for the EU Parliament's Greens/EFA Group, added: "Autonomous weapons systems must be banned internationally. The power to decide over life and death should never be taken out of human hands and given to machines."

The MEP resolution comes ahead of new negotiations which are scheduled at the United Nations in November, where it is hoped an agreement will be reached.

In August, experts from a range of countries met at the UN headquarters in Geneva to discuss ways to define and deal with computer-controlled weapons.

Whilst many agreed that autonomous weapons should be banned, some countries - including Israel, Russia, South Korea and the US - said they wanted to explore potential "advantages" from autonomous weapons systems.

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