Social Implications of Military Robots

It doesn't get much geekier than blogging about robots, but here it goes. I came across this speech on TED.COM (Technology, Entertainment, Design) that was interest to me personally. At my job we have a contract to manufacture the v-tail wing for the Predator B which is one of the unmanned airplanes shown in this talk and technically I program robots(computer controlled machine tools) all day at work. So you can see that I deal with robots quite a bit.

I always thought that there was no downside to sending robots into war rather than our soldiers. In all reality there is always a large down side to war no matter who is fighting it. Don't get me wrong I am not a hippie by any means. But this talk by P.W. Singer has some very interesting points on the social implications of fighting wars with robots. In my opinion it is inevitable, robotics are becoming and will be the weapon of choice for the military forces of the world.

The task at hand is not losing touch with the realities of wars. Perhaps its these horrible realities that keeps many in check. As war becomes more and more like a video game how do we maintain a high level of understanding of how bad war is if we don't experience it first hand? With all the war, death, and violence portrayed in the media how do we keep a high level of reverence and respect for human life? We live in some amazing times, yet we face some very unique challenges that no other generation has dealt with.

This talk is about 16 minutes so enjoy and let me know your thoughts on robots and wars in the comments for this post.

1 comment:

Loyd said...

That was an interesting presentation. I think he does a good job at pointing out the ethical problems that are introduced by technological warfare.

The biggest problem I see is that modern warfare ultimately creates a greater division between the wealthy and powerful nations over those of weaker nations. Like the war in Iraq, war largely becomes a battle between technology and bodies.