Human Rights for Some—Indifference for Others
My name is Vahid Razavi. I have been a member of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots for the past five years. During this time, my former 501(c)(3) organization, Ethics in Tech, was awarded multiple grants to produce content on behalf of the Campaign by its Steering Committee.
With the Campaign’s support, Ethics in Tech organized events featuring speakers including Nobel laureate Mary Wareham, Mines Action Canada director Erin Hunt, and numerous experts in the field of artificial intelligence and autonomous lethal weapons systems. In addition to hosting luminaries in the activist space, Ethics in Tech also incorporated headlining comedians as part of our unique approach to addressing some of the most existential issues of our time.
Our events—especially prior to the Covid-19 pandemic—were well attended and drew national and international media coverage, including from Japanese broadcaster NHK World.
I have always been a steadfast supporter of the Campaign’s mission of a world free from lethal autonomous weapons. When Israel launched its genocidal retaliation against the Palestinian people following the horrific October 7 attacks, I and a number of Campaign members implored the Campaign’s Steering Commitee to make a public statement against the use of AI-powered weapons in Gaza. As a human rights organization, I believed the Campaign would naturally condemn what thousands of internationally experts including one of Israel’s leading Holocaust scholars called a “textbook case” of genocide.
Alas, imagine my dismay and disappointment when the Campaign terminated human rights attorney Ousman Noor after he published a social media post condemning the Gaza genocide. In the wake of this most dubious decision, more than 2,000 human rights defenders signed an open letter in support of Mr. Noor. This resounding show of support went unanswered by the Campaign’s Steering Committee.
Was Mr. Noor just a rogue disgruntled employee? Hardly. Another staff member, the Campaign’s UK coordinator, subsequently accused the Campaign of racism. When multiple staff members accuse an organization of open racism and retaliation for taking a position against genocide, the organization’s value’s demand further scrutiny.
I have been warned, threatened with expulsion, and told to be silent while I witness an AI- driven genocide before my very eyes. Is the innocent blood of tens of thousands of men, women, and children being spilled in Gaza not worthy of the Steering Committee to act?
In response to backlash from Coalition members, the Steering Committee has resolved to rearrange the proverbial chairs on the deck of the Titanic. They will be conducting a survey of Coalition members in the weeks ahead. I submit that the Campaign must immediately publish a statement condemning, the genocide, by the use of AI-driven systems utilized by Israeli occupation forces in their assault on Gaza.
Project Nimbus used Google and AWS cloud for machine learning, AI using facial recognition, and object tracking and targeting.
Red Wolf mass facial recognition training all over occupied territories for maintaining apartheid control of Palestinians.
Blue Wolf used on smartphones to capture facial details of Palestinian users.
Smart shooter used for AI and Automatic shooting of Palestinians throughout the occupied territories for “crowd disbursement.”
Finally, Gospel that is used to target over 200 journalists that have been murdered and maimed, sometimes along with their families, throughout Gaza.
The embedded video was an event that I participated in with Ousman Noor and fellow coalition member in regards to countering intimidation and retaliation in peace and disarmament in support of Palestinian human rights advocates.