Robot pointing to a sign promoting short film "Immoral Code"

Photo Credit: Stop Killer Robots

12th November 2022

The SDGs Online Cinema Series Highlights Killer Robots Issues

  • Stopping Killer Robots
  • Disarmament
  • Sustainability & climate change
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Watch the Immoral Code trailer

On 29 October 2022, the Soka Gakkai Peace Committee in Japan organized an online screening of Immoral Code, a 23-minute documentary produced by Stop Killer Robots, as a part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Online Cinema Series. SDG 16 aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies and reduce all forms of violence, and screenings of Immoral Code support this goal by preventing potential violence that killer robots could cause in the future. The film was launched on 24 May 2022 and first screened publicly in Japan. It depicts issues around killer robots in various aspects and makes viewers wonder whether we are prepared to let machines make decisions of life and death.

Following the October 2022 screening, Yuki Sakurai, Program Coordinator at Association for Aid and Relief Japan (AAR Japan) and steering group member of Stop Killer Robots, spoke on the challenges posed by killer robots, including legal and security aspects, human control of weapon systems, gender inequality and algorithmic bias. Referencing a joint statement on autonomous weapons systems endorsed by 70 states during the United Nations General Assembly First Committee in October 2022, Sakurai emphasized how important it is for individuals, religious institutions, academics, technicians and others to use their respective positions to promote efforts against killer robots and to elevate our voices to decision makers. In particular, he placed his expectation on religious communities to bring ethical viewpoints into international discussions for regulating killer robots.

Over 400 participants of all ages viewed the film screening and Sakurai’s subsequent remarks, with one participant commenting, “I vaguely knew about killer robots but learned that we are facing a very big problem. I would like to deepen [my understanding] of this issue through [discussions] with my friends and people around me.”