Youth in Nigeria engaging as advocates against killer robots

Photo: Christian Council of Nigeria

“If technologies to produce such weapons are not prohibited immediately, we could soon have a situation where machines will be making decisions whether or not to take a life,” said Rev. Kolade Fadahunsi, director of the Institute of Church and Society. “This raises fundamental moral, as well as legal concerns, and we believe that Christians should be leading the way to call for an urgent response to this threat.”

With the support of the World Council of Churches, church leaders, womens groups and young people in the student Christian movement in Nigeria have been sensitized to the issue and are working together to urge the Nigerian government to play a leading role in the development of a strong international legal framework to ensure that fully autonomous weapons are never allowed to be developed.

Between the end of July and August, the Institute of Church and Society distributed flyers on the issue, held an awareness-raising forum for media and civil society organisations, and delivered a lecture aimed at involving youth in advocacy against killer robots at the 2021 annual youth convention of the Methodist Church of Nigeria.

“Engaging young people is fundamental in this campaign,” said Fadahunsi. “They are best placed to understand and engage with the future development of artificial intelligence, and to call for necessary limits to be put in place.”

Following the lecture, young people registered as advocates of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, and have since continued to highlight the campaign messages on social media.

The Institute of Church and Society has now been invited by other chapters of the Christian Council of Nigeria to present the campaign at their meetings.