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UN expert urges moratorium on 'killer robots'

GENEVA (AP) - A U.N. human rights expert is urging nations to agree to a moratorium on developing robots for war that can function autonomously.

U.N. special rapporteur Christof Heyns says a temporary freeze would give nations time to think through the implications of creating so-called killer robots while "the genie is still in the bottle" technologically.

But Heyns told reporters Thursday the technology is quickly being developed for machines that have the power to kill humans after the flip of a switch, but lack the ability to make fine distinctions according to international humanitarian law.

He says another big danger of developing these kinds of robots is that it will make it easier for nations to go to war because of the increasing detachment between people and the decision to kill.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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