Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic have published a new report entitled "Shaking the Foundations: The Human Rights Implications of Killer Robots", which calls for killer robots to be banned to prevent a potential arms race between countries.
Killer robots, or fully autonomous weapons, do not yet exist but would be the next step after remote-controlled armed drones used by the US military today. Fully autonomous weapons would have the ability to identify and fire on targets without human intervention, putting compliance with international humanitarian laws in doubt.
Among the problems with killer robots highlighted in the report is the risk of criminal liability for a military officer, programmer or weapons manufacturer who created or used an autonomous weapon with intent to kill.
If a robot killed arbitrarily, it would be difficult to hold anyone accountable.