Professor: Drones Will Soon Be Able To Kill During War Without Human Assistance AND ‘Perform More Ethically Than Human Soldiers Are Capable Of


Are robot soldiers that ‘can perform more ethically than human soldiers are capable of’ next?

Professor: Drones Will Soon Be Able To Kill During War Without Human Assistance (CBS, Oct 1, 2012):

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Drones could soon operate without the help of humans.

Agence France-Presse is reporting that the Pentagon wants its drones to be more autonomous, so that they can run with little to no assistance from people.

“Before they were blind, deaf and dumb,” Mark Maybury, chief scientist for the U.S. Air Force, told AFP. “Now we’re beginning to make them to see, hear and sense.”

Ronald Arkin, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, believes that drones will soon be able to kill enemies on their own independently.

“It is not my belief that an unmanned system will be able to be perfectly ethical in the battlefield, but I am convinced that they can perform more ethically than human soldiers are capable of,” Arkin told AFP.

Arkin added that robotic weapons should be designed as “ethical” warriors and that these type of robots could wage war in a more “humane” way.

The U.S. military says people will be on the ground to control the drones despite the unmanned robots gaining more independence.

Peter W. Singer, a senior fellow in Foreign Policy at The Brookings Institution, believes there could be legal hurdles in regards to using robot-controlled drones.

“These responses that are driven by science, politics and battlefield necessity get you into areas where the lawyers just aren’t ready for it yet,” Singer told AFP.

Earlier this year, Singer wrote an op-ed piece for The New York Times about the use of drones. In the piece, entitled “Do Drones Undermine Democracy?” he says the use of drones is “short-circuiting the decision-making process.”

“Without any actual political debate, we have set an enormous precedent, blurring the civilian and military roles in war and circumventing the Constitution’s mandate for authorizing it,” Singer wrote. “Freeing the executive branch to act as it chooses may be appealing to some now, but many future scenarios will be less clear-cut. And each political party will very likely have a different view, depending on who is in the White House.”

AFP reports that new military drones will most likely be implemented with more powerful jet engines and have longer range in combat.

There are currently more than 7,000 drones being used in combat.

1 thought on “Professor: Drones Will Soon Be Able To Kill During War Without Human Assistance AND ‘Perform More Ethically Than Human Soldiers Are Capable Of

  1. What rubbish. How Orwellian can it get? Such a philosophy is terrifying.
    This will only work as long as the power sources behind the technology are in place. Climate change, earthquakes, wars…..all of these elements may change this, sooner than people imagine. I cannot help but wonder if such quick advancement will not be our undoing as it may have been in ancient civilizations that vanished without a trace. As a species, mankind can only advance so far without running into real, man-made roadblocks. Look at Fukushima…..the fallout continues, and reactor #4 is sinking. If the worst case scenario happens, much of this planet will be uninhabitable, and technology such as intelligent drones will become the things of legend.
    Troy was considered a legend until it was finally discovered in the 1870s. Over the past 200 years, we have gone from candlelight to electric lighting, carriages to aircraft, messengers to email and texting….and so much more. Look at our progress in science and space travel…..in my lifetime, it has been amazing! This last 200 years will be remembered as a Golden Era such as the Roman Republic, the Renessance and Age of Enlightenment…..unfortunately, mankind seems incapable of hanging on to any understanding they find.
    Thanks,

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