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.
A community leader in her hometown, Zemzem walked 17 days to find safety after fighting in Tigray, Ethiopia forced her to leave earlier this year. “Our house was set on fire and looted, one of our family members died and after a lot of adversity, we arrived here,” says Zemzem, one of 23.5 million people in dire need due to the combined impacts of violence, climate change, Covid-19, locust infestations, drought and floods.
More than 80 percent of those impacted by the conflict are outside the region of Tigray. In this powerful video, we also meet volunteers for the Ethiopian Red Cross who risk their own lives to help people hurt by the fighting, or sick due to diseases or malnutrion. “There are some things I have seen that made me scared, like any other human,” says Beyene, one Ethiopian Red Cross ambulance driver. “But I think I will have a big story to tell in the future, I feel I’ve done something good…helping people and making life better.”