Drone Weapons Could Lead To Terminator-like Future Warns British Study
Posted on April 25, 2011
It’s high time to discuss the scary side of autonomous machines. A new study from the British government warns about the use of drone weapons and raises questions about the ethics of our killer robots targeting insurgents in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“The use of drones to attack enemy targets could make war more likely and raises questions about the role of the human in combat “from a moral and ethical standpoint”, the report says.
Unmanned military vehicles also have the potential to begin a “incremental and involuntary journey towards a Terminator-like reality”,according to the report seen by The Guardian.
The study, called The UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems, was ordered by British defence officials amid growing controversy over the use of drones against insurgents on the Afghanistan and Pakistan borders.
It says: “It is essential that before unmanned systems become ubiquitous (if it is not already too late) … we ensure that, by removing some of the horror, or at least keeping it at a distance, we do not risk losing our controlling humanity and make war more likely.”
The disclosure comes just days after Pakistan asked the US to scale down drone attacks in its sensitive regions.
Unmanned Predators drones have been used widely in the war in Afghanistan and along its borders, some for surveillance and others which fire missiles.
The report states that “the recent extensive use of unmanned aircraft over Pakistan and Yemen may already herald a new era”.
It refers to descriptions of “killer drones” in Afghanistan and notes that “feelings are likely to run high as armed systems acquire more autonomy”.
The report states that the insurgents gain from every mistake, casting themselves “in the role of underdog and the west as a cowardly bully that is unwilling to risk his own troops, but is happy to kill remotely.”
The report calls for “open and public discussion” about the implications of remote warfare.
It was written last month by the MoD’s internal think tank, the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre, based in Shrivenham, Wilts.”
(Via The Telegraph)