More than 70 countries already use unmanned drones—aerial vehicles capable of gathering intelligence, or seeking and, if necessary, eliminating targets.
Now thanks to the fact that the science fiction of Star Trek and Star Wars has become a reality, the United Nations has questioned the ethics of “killer robots”. In fact, there was a call for a halt to their use until the ethical issues could be worked out—sort of late, I think, because of those 70 countries already using these weapons to spy and wage war.
Do you think the development and use of drones and killer robots is going to be put on hold honoring this UN request?
It isn’t as if this topic was new. The question of the ethics of these types of weapons first appeared in 1942 when Isaac Asimov introduced the three laws of robotics in his short story “Run Around”.
· A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
· A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
· A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
Gizmodo says, “Rather, we need to start wrestling with the ethics of the people behind the machines. Where is the code of ethics in the robotics field for what gets built and what doesn’t?” and “What about me? Is it within my 2nd Amendment right to have a robot that bears arms?”
I don’t know about you, but—in today’s world—I wouldn’t mind having a heavily armed robot warrior on guard 24/7 programed to protect my family and home. In fact, it would be nice if when the kids were at school (including college) that a killer drone was hovering over his or her head at all times keeping an eye on his or her safety.
What think you? And I wonder if one day these killer drones and robots will also suffer from cyber PTSD making them even more dangerous.
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.
His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.
And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.
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