The Excerpt below was written by David Hambling at newscientist.comIf driverless cars will save lives, perhaps armed machines can as well https://t.co/hJdkdkywJv pic.twitter.com/DXi74imyrf— New Scientist (@newscientist) November 13, 2017
Calls to ban killer robots ignore the fact that human soldiers can make lethal mistakes. If driverless cars will save lives, perhaps armed machines can as well.
But while fiction is littered with cautionary tales of what happens when you put guns in the cold, metallic hands of a machine, the situation may not be as simple as “human good, robots bad”.
To understand why, we should look at what people are saying about the ethics of driverless cars, which advocates see as a way of reducing accidents. If your life is safer in the hands of a robot car than a human driver, might the same apply for military hardware?
Clearly, replacing a human combatant with a robot one is safer for that individual, but armed robots could also reduce civilian casualties. For example, a squad that has to clear a building must make a split-second decision about whether the occupant of a room is an armed insurgent or an innocent civilian – any hesitation could get them killed. A robot can wait for confirmation when the enemy starts firing.
The same principle applies to air strikes. An autonomous system can make several runs over a target to confirm it is really an enemy outpost, but a pilot can risk only one pass. In both cases, the only downside is the loss of machines due to excessive caution, not casualties.Classroom Quote:
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Comment: Do you think that arming robots would save lives or not...and why?
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