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War Machines: Recruiting Robots For Combat

di Redazione FGB [1], 9 Dicembre 2010

Last week an article appeared in The New York Times entitled "War Machines: Recruiting Robots For Combat". [2] The article addresses a problem that has been debated on this site in the past, [3] that of the ethical considerations that the development of this type of military machine provokes.

Military sources are quoted as stating that the use of such machines on the battlefield actually makes warfare safer, as their operators have more time to make decisions as their own lives are not directly threatened.

A counter argument is also given however. The very fact that troops can avoid placing themselves directly in the line of fire could make states more trigger happy, (an argument supported by the International Committee For Robot Arms Control), and critics argue that it is more difficult to decipher a situation and make an appropriate decision via camera and monitor than it is for a person that is physically experiencing the battle (as the use of drone aircraft has shown).

The article goes on to quote a friend of The Bassetti Foundation Ron Arkin, stating that he "has argued that it is possible to design "ethical" robots that conform to the laws of war and the military rules of escalation", although the author does not enter into any more detail.

For readers interested in Mr Arkin's work (in his own words) see his interview conducted by Jeff Ubois [4] on this site and his conversation entitled "Embedding Values In Machines" in the Bassetti Foundation Publication "Conversations on Innovation, Power and Responsibility". [5]


See also "A New Generation of Robotic Weapons [6]" (The New York Time):
A New Generation of Robotic Weapons [7]


(photo: Remote controlled aerial drones [8] by Orì from Flickr)

Mostra/Nascondi i link citati nell'articolo

Link citati nell'articolo:

  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Redazione FGB
  2. 2] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/28/science/28robot.html?_r=2&pagewanted=2&emc=eta1
  3. 3] /en/focus/2010/03/drones_and_other_robots_of_war_1.html
  4. 4] /en/ubois/2008/01/dr_ronald_arkin_on_roboethics.html
  5. 5] /en/focus/2010/01/a_short_review_conversations_o.html
  6. 6] http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/27/us/ROBOT.html?ref=science
  7. 7] http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/27/us/ROBOT.html?ref=science
  8. 8] http://www.flickr.com/photos/ori/3275350900
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cc - photo by Orì from Flickr

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