Fully autonomous weapons threaten to outpace our ethical frameworks for what is permitted in war

AC Grayling in Prospect:

Although the aim of conflict is as it ever was—to destroy or degrade the enemy’s capacity and will to fight—at every level from the individual enemy soldier to the economic and political system behind them, war has changed in character. This evolution is prompting new and urgent ethical questions, particularly in relation to remote unmanned military machines. Surveillance and hunter-killer drones such as the Predator and the Reaper have become commonplace on the modern battlefield and their continued use suggests—perhaps indeed presages—a future of war in which the fighting is done by machines independent of direct human control. This scenario prompts great anxieties.

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