Should We Turn the Robots Loose?
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The use of robots by the U.S. military has grown exponentially in the last 10 years. While remotely piloted drones and ground vehicles are in the spotlight today, the Department of Defense DoD has stated a goal of increasing the level of automation in unmanned systems.1 Based on pre-existing autonomous systems, the DoD goal, and ongoing technological advances in artificial intelligence it seems likely that automated lethal robots will soon be available to operational commanders for use in combat. While autonomous lethal robots promise significant rewards, they also bring with them significant risks to the success of military operations. Military planners should choose to use autonomous lethal systems when the importance of casualty reduction outweighs the importance of avoiding strategic communications setbacks due to collateral damage.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics