Industrial challenges of military robotics

Journal of Military Ethics 10 (4):274-295 (2011)
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Abstract This article evaluates the ?drive toward greater autonomy? in lethally-armed unmanned systems. Following a summary of the main criticisms and challenges to lethal autonomy, both engineering and ethical, raised by opponents of this effort, the article turns toward solutions or responses that defense industries and military end users might seek to incorporate in design, testing and manufacturing to address these concerns. The way forward encompasses a two-fold testing procedure for reliability incorporating empirical, quantitative benchmarks of performance in compliance with formalized and programmable rules of engagement, and a conception of ?due care? in product liability. This would be designed in analogy with procedures currently followed by well-intentioned governments and militaries with their own (human) military personnel, both to ensure against failure, and to accept responsibility and compensate victims of inadvertent and unintended accidents. The procedure is designed specifically to address objections first posed by Robert Sparrow (2007) and Noel Sharkey (2007), and echoed in P.W. Singer's critically acclaimed Wired for War (2009), that lethal autonomous systems cannot be meaningfully held accountable for commission of war crimes, and thus the development, manufacture, and deployment of such systems would constitute a violation of international law.



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Citations of this work

Artificial moral agents are infeasible with foreseeable technologies.Patrick Chisan Hew - 2014 - Ethics and Information Technology 16 (3):197-206.
The ethics of information warfare.Luciano Floridi & Mariarosaria Taddeo (eds.) - 2014 - Springer International Publishing.

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References found in this work

Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong.Wendell Wallach & Colin Allen - 2008 - New York, US: Oxford University Press.
Killer robots.Robert Sparrow - 2007 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (1):62–77.
Proportionality in the Morality of War.Thomas Hurka - 2004 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (1):34-66.
Saying 'No!' to Lethal Autonomous Targeting.Noel Sharkey - 2010 - Journal of Military Ethics 9 (4):369-383.
How just could a robot war be?Peter Asaro - 2008 - In P. Brey, A. Briggle & K. Waelbers (eds.), Current Issues in Computing and Philosophy. Ios Press. pp. 50--64.

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