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.
“I have come here after getting displaced by floods for the fifteenth time in my lifetime,” says Fulchan Sadhu of Tangail. Fulchan and his family have to find a new place to call home every time after floods devour their house, submerging their neighbourhoods. Millions of families face such threats every year in flood-prone areas of Bangladesh.
Eight years ago Fulchan moved to his current home on an isolated char island near the Dhaleswari river in Tangail, central Bangladesh. Ever since, he has been struggling to adjust to this new place with his family, including their young son. In 2019, Fulchan survived yet another massive flood that nearly swept everything away, leaving his house damaged and drying up his work and income from running a small shop on the island.