Human rights groups are calling for a ban on autonomous battlefield robots, raising larger questions about the ethics of robots from the battlefield to eldercare.
Steve Ranger on TechRepublic reports that governments that are part of the Convention on Certain conventional Weapons (CCW) plan to meet in Geneva next year to "discuss the issues related to so-called 'lethal autonomous weapons systems,' or what campaigners have dubbed 'killer robots.'"
I had my eyes opened to the potential for battlefield robots in P.W. Singer's 2009 book Wired for War. He makes a strong case that robots and drones are transforming the nature of warfare in the way that the invention of gunpowder and planes did. War is a fundamental human activity; most nations are fighting a war, building up their defenses, or recovering from a war most of the time. War has broad ramifications for civilian society, from fashion to the Internet itself (fundamental development of which was funded by the US Department of Defense).
Everybody knows about drones, but few people are aware of how deeply fundamental the technology is to America's wars. That was true in 2009, and I expect it's even more true today.
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