The Phaserl


Wall Street Journal Asks: “Could We Trust Killer Robots?” (We Ask, Would They Be Silver Bugs?)

from Silver Vigilante:

In the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal May 19-20, 2012, which I swear I stopped subscribing to but remains to be delivered, a piece entitled, “Could We Trust Killer Robots?” appeared. It details a near-future world in which the United States military has been made wholly robotic. The subtitle reads, “A drone may never have a sense of morality, but it might perform better than a human solder in sparing the innocent.”

In this apparently not-so-far-off world, Wall Street Journal uses 2015 (two-and-half-years) as an example, the robot will be able to determine through “infrared cameras, heat sensors, and other tools of surveillance determined whether the target is indeed a militant.” The robot will decipher when a person is “ready to attack” on a scale from -1 (a noncombatant) to +1 (a confirmed combatant.) Clearly, this is very complicated stuff.

After the delineation, the robot will then assess whether or not children or other civilians are in the nearby, “and that everything else is in order.” Once it chooses the proper weapon it will then proceed to “kill! Kill! Kill!” The robot then assesses the damage and either “kill! Kill! Kill’s!”again or, if the enemy is dead, proceeds on patrol.

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