The Terminators: drone strikes prompt MoD to ponder ethics of killer robots

#1
The Terminators: drone strikes prompt MoD to ponder ethics of killer robots

Quote by Article

The growing use of unmanned aircraft in combat situations raises huge moral and legal issues, and threatens to make war more likely as armed robots take over from human beings, according to an internal study by the Ministry of Defence.

The report warns of the dangers of an "incremental and involuntary journey towards a Terminator-like reality", referring to James Cameron's 1984 movie, in which humans are hunted by robotic killing machines. It says the pace of technological development is accelerating at such a rate that Britain must quickly establish a policy on what will constitute "acceptable machine behaviour".


Flaming immaturity of the chosen image aside ( ), thought this article raised some very interesting points, especially on the moral problems raised by indirect war.

What is your opinion on the use of drones in warfare?
#3
Fully autonomous robots used as military drones in order to actively hunt out and kill targets are forbidden by the 3 laws of robotics (yes, those same ones from iRobot, they really do exist).

However, the drones that are used now are still human controlled, and are used to safely conduct a military mission from as safe a location as possible so as to retain personnel at the potential cost of a machine. As the MoD state frequently in posters i see all around bases and in the crew rooms, machines have a price, people do not.

Yes, there are get arounds from it, but as many of you will know from using satnavs, machines aren't the best at thinking, so until ASIMO can carry an L85, fire off a couple of rounds without falling over and learn to salute properly, there is always going to be a degree of human input on todays modern battlefields.
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#4
Using unmanned or "robotic" warfare will eventually result in the richer side winning 100% of the time.

So really it wouldn't change a damn thing.
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#5
I was thinking more about:

The concept of "fighting from barracks" or the "remote warrior" raises such questions as whether a person operating the drones – sometimes from thousands of miles away and "walking the streets of his home town after a shift" – is a legitimate target as a combatant. "Do we fully understand the psychological effects on remote operators of conducting war at a distance?" ask the officials. There is one school of thought, they note, that suggests that for war to be moral, as opposed to just legal, "it must link the killing of enemies with an element of self-sacrifice, or at least risk to oneself".
#6
Quote by gabcd86
I was thinking more about:

I think that if they're going to start applying morals to warfare that's a valiant but arbitrary place to start.
The UG Awards exist only to instill me with existential doubt.


For me, the 60's ended that day in 1978...

Willies. Fuck the lick and fuck you too.
#7
Also a bit late, to be honest, I mean how have the bombing campaigns of the past twenty (more?) years involved in any serious way "self-sacrifice" from the guys floating by at 20, 000 ft?
#8
Quote by gabcd86
Also a bit late, to be honest, I mean how have the bombing campaigns of the past twenty (more?) years involved in any serious way "self-sacrifice" from the guys floating by at 20, 000 ft?

There's a lot of self sacrifice involved in flying. Ever bought a sandwich on a RyanAir flight?
The UG Awards exist only to instill me with existential doubt.


For me, the 60's ended that day in 1978...

Willies. Fuck the lick and fuck you too.
#11
What, did you win the lottery?
The UG Awards exist only to instill me with existential doubt.


For me, the 60's ended that day in 1978...

Willies. Fuck the lick and fuck you too.
#13
Quote by TheBurningFish
Using unmanned or "robotic" warfare will eventually result in the richer side winning 100% of the time.

So really it wouldn't change a damn thing.


Unmanned technology hasn't led to an American victory in Afghanistan
#14
Quote by TheBurningFish
What, did you win the lottery?


Nah, haven't got Speedy Boarding.
#15
Perhaps that's what we need to make warfare obsolete.
It's more than a paragraph but it's worth the read.
http://www.wsu.edu/~hughesc/why_men_love_war.htm
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#16
Everybody knows that skynet is controlling those drones with ai robotronics. Its not science fiction ladies and gentleman. Its the beginning of the end.
Most of the important things


in the world have been accomplished


by people who have kept on


trying when there seemed to be no hope at all
#17
The concept of "fighting from barracks" or the "remote warrior" raises such questions as whether a person operating the drones – sometimes from thousands of miles away and "walking the streets of his home town after a shift" – is a legitimate target as a combatant. "Do we fully understand the psychological effects on remote operators of conducting war at a distance?" ask the officials. There is one school of thought, they note, that suggests that for war to be moral, as opposed to just legal, "it must link the killing of enemies with an element of self-sacrifice, or at least risk to oneself".


I am not sure that this is really the case though.

When I was in the military, and in Iraq all of the unmanned aerial vehicle operators while they were not actually in the aircraft themselves, were still within the theater of combat. They were still putting their lives at risk every day. Just not the same way a pilot would.

That being said, I am sure the technology can be , and probably IS used from a much farther distance then what we used it at.

However, no matter what happens with unmanned technology I am still a firm believer in the "if you want something done right do it yourself" philosophy. You can not utterly win without a ground war in my opinion. Also in my opinion, nothing is a substitute for a creative and innovative living breathing soldier in a combat environment.

Just my 2 cents.
#18
The bright side is if they do become self aware and turn against us, we get an awesome theme score.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#19
Quote by Black Rat 1214
Fully autonomous robots used as military drones in order to actively hunt out and kill targets are forbidden by the 3 laws of robotics (yes, those same ones from iRobot, they really do exist).

However, the drones that are used now are still human controlled, and are used to safely conduct a military mission from as safe a location as possible so as to retain personnel at the potential cost of a machine. As the MoD state frequently in posters i see all around bases and in the crew rooms, machines have a price, people do not.

Yes, there are get arounds from it, but as many of you will know from using satnavs, machines aren't the best at thinking, so until ASIMO can carry an L85, fire off a couple of rounds without falling over and learn to salute properly, there is always going to be a degree of human input on todays modern battlefields.

I'd assume these machines will be cheaper to produce in the future, and they made a good point about us being more likely to go to war if we have drones. We won't neccesarily have autonomous androids fighting all our wars, but it's a pretty fair bet that predator drone pilots in the middle east feel a lot safer than infantry.
#20
Quote by Jackal58
Perhaps that's what we need to make warfare obsolete.
It's more than a paragraph but it's worth the read.
http://www.wsu.edu/~hughesc/why_men_love_war.htm

Brilliant read.
The UG Awards exist only to instill me with existential doubt.


For me, the 60's ended that day in 1978...

Willies. Fuck the lick and fuck you too.
#22
Quote by Zoot Allures
There is no such thing as a 'moral war' and there never will be. It's actually laughable propaganda to think that the MoD give a shit about doing the moral thing at all.


+1
#23
It's a tough question. People already criticize guns for being too impersonal. This takes it a step further. On one hand, we're saving the lives of our own soldiers, on the other we're making killing into nothing more than a videogame.
Due what you want as long as you vote Due!
#24
Quote by Zoot Allures
There is no such thing as a 'moral war' and there never will be. It's actually laughable propaganda to think that the MoD give a shit about doing the moral thing at all.


I disagree, morality maybe the wrong word to use but I would imagine the MoD would be massively interested in the actual effects of these operations on their "pilots" I mean, look what happened in the wake of the Falklands and the Gulf War.

Also, inb4 Irish Punk licking Zoots bum clean.

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#25
Quote by Tom 1.0
Also, inb4 Irish Punk licking Zoots bum clean.

lol
The UG Awards exist only to instill me with existential doubt.


For me, the 60's ended that day in 1978...

Willies. Fuck the lick and fuck you too.
#26
Quote by Zoot Allures
There is no such thing as a 'moral war' and there never will be. It's actually laughable propaganda to think that the MoD give a shit about doing the moral thing at all.

There is no such thing as morality.
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#27
And now the machines plant chips in our heads and take over the earth. Or they would, if they already hadn't.
I was voted least likely to survive the inevitable zombie apocalypse in high school.
#28
Quote by Xiaoxi
The bright side is if they do become self aware and turn against us, we get an awesome theme score.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXQTzJgU6qc


EDIT: aaaand I still love this one too
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rO2sHdDO6cw
Last edited by Diamond Dave at Apr 17, 2011,