Challenging the First Law of Robotics: Legal Considerations on the Use of Autonomous Armed Robots in Law Enforcement Operations

Although the first law of robotics formulated by Isaac Asimov in 1942 is not yet a legally binding principle, there is already an in-depth debate on the legal and ethical aspects of using Autonomous Weapon Systems on the battlefield. The considerations in this area should be supplemented with a thorough analysis of the use of artificially intelligent robots in law enforcement operations, when the use of force may sometimes lead to injury or even death of human beings. In this kind of operations, the use of force is subject to a number of restrictions related to the need to protect human life. The use of force must, therefore, be absolutely necessary and proportionate to the intended purpose and must be preceded by all possible precautionary measures. The proposed paper is intended to explain these requirements and to answer the question whether artificially intelligent robots are able to maintain the high legal standards of protection of individuals during law enforcement operations.