The world's governing bodies have seen disaster movies, and they want you to know that they're on it.
In Geneva Tuesday, the UN discussed banning killer robots before they become an international concern. While we would imagine the meetings involved a stream of Terminator clips, fist banging and old European men shouting "Not on my watch," the Chronicle Herald describes a far more civilized scene. Diplomats discussed the necessity of limiting lethal autonomous weapons that "could go beyond human-directed drones already being used by some armies today":
"All too often international law only responds to atrocities and suffering once it has happened,” Michael Moeller, acting head of the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva, told diplomats at the start of the four-day gathering. “You have the opportunity to take pre-emptive action and ensure that the ultimate decision to end life remains firmly under human control."
He noted that the UN treaty they were meeting to discuss — the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons adopted by 117 nations including the world’s major powers — was used before to prohibit the use of blinding laser weapons in the 1990s before they were ever deployed on the battlefield, and this "serves as an example to be followed again."
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have already petitioned against a future of killer robots.
And now onto another summer blockbuster favorite: The zombie apocalypse.
Foreign Policy received a document called "CONOP 8888" that outlines the U.S. Pentagon's plan to survive an attack by the undead — ranging from vegetarian to "evil magic" zombies.
According to FP, the document's summary read:
" This plan fulfills fictional contingency planning guidance tasking for U.S. Strategic Command to develop a comprehensive [plan] to undertake military operations to preserve 'non-zombie' humans from the threats posed by a zombie horde. Because zombies pose a threat to all non-zombie human life, [Strategic Command] will be prepared to preserve the sanctity of human life and conduct operations in support of any human population -- including traditional adversaries."
While a spokesperson for Strategic Command assured FP that the (real!) document was a "fictional training scenario," a disclaimer on CONOP 8888 reads, "this plan was not actually designed as a joke."
Now let's get on that Day After Tomorrow climate change disaster plan. Anybody?