It’s the stuff of science fiction: machines that make decisions about who and when to kill. Referred to as “autonomous weapons”, they’re already in use to some degree. But as more sophisticated systems are being developed we wanted to an expert in the field about whether such systems comply with international humanitarian law and what it means for humanity to give machines the power over human life and death.
As Covid-19 cases began rising sharply again in many European cities this fall, memories from the first lockdown in Italy back in April came flooding back and, for many, it felt like a step back in time.
Despite the hardship and frustration of new lockdowns, there was also a rekindled feeling of solidarity. Many of the people who decided to volunteer on a temporary basis during the first wave of Covid-19 have since gone on to make a long-term commitment to volunteering.
This is the story of one of those volunteers: Angela, now officially a permanent member of the Italian Red Cross volunteer corps.
“The desire to be a volunteer had been with me for some time”, says Angela, who began her voluntary service by delivering food and medicine in March this year as her home down of Florence went into its first lockdown. Many people who were under quarantine, self-isolated or were considered at high risk needed support to cope and fulfill their basic needs.