Robots of death: the ethics of discrimination

Noel Sharkey, University of Sheffield, GB

The deployment of the first armed battlefield robots in Iraq is the latest step on a dangerous path—we are sleepwalking into a brave new world where robots decide who, where and when to kill. Already, South Korea and Israel are deploying armed robot border guards and China, Singapore and the UK are among those making increasing use of military robots. The biggest player yet is the US: robots are integral to its $230bn future combat systems project, a massive plan to develop unmanned vehicles that can strike from the air, under the sea and on land. Congress has set a goal of having one-third of ground combat vehicles unmanned by 2015. Over 4,000 robots are serving in Iraq at present, others in Afghanistan. And now some are armed. This talk will focus on new developments and their ethical implications.

Full text: FIfF Kommunikation 1/2009 p. 25—29 full paper Noel Sharkey


Wenige Monate nach diesem Zusammentreffen haben Noel Sharkey und Jürgen Atmann gemeinsam mit dem amerikanischen Philosophen Peter M. Asaro und dem australischen Bioethiker Robert Sparrow das International Committee for Robot Arms Control gegründet.

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