Sunday, January 31, 2010

In 25 Years Will There Be A Papal Statement on Robots?

An interesting piece here at Evolving Robots Learn To Prey On Each Other .

Some concerning stuff. The CYLONS and Matrix are closer than we think.

However this brings up other issues that I have thought about. What happens when warfare can be conducted just by robots. Are there real moral questions here?

On the battle field no human glory, no pain, no loss, no comradeship, no appreciations of the lessons of loyalty and cowardice, no intense personal moral lessons learned, no watching your friends die, no family loss, no putting your life on the line for ideas, etc etc. Will robots bring on Armageddon?

What do we lose? It appears this world is fast approaching. That is one reason when I hear of aircraft that have no humans, tanks that have no commander, and ships with no crews I start wondering if we want to go down this road.

What about new Just War theory issues? AN inequity between nations that can have robots do the dying for them and those that have to use real live human beings?

However there is no stopping it. Soon we will have to deal with the moral and ethical questions involved here.

Tip of the Hat to Instapundit

Update- WOW Instapundit Links me. So this what it feels like. Thanks


Stephen Gordon said...

I understand the negatives, but consider the positives: since there is no human soldier on the ground, there is a reduced chance of collateral damage. Not sure if the people you see hiding are combatants or civilians? If its a robot it will wait. It doesn't have to protect itself the way a human soldier would.

BarryD said...

Consider Desert Storm, where there were 148 US battle deaths (almost an equal number, 145, were killed in "non-battle" accidents), compared to an estimated 100,000 Iraqi deaths.

We have been at the place you are asking about, for a while, at least in certain military scenarios -- which are those where robots are most likely to be used.

I can't say whether this is good, bad, or indifferent, but I can say the question is more than 20 years late, for this trend to be slowed.

James H said...

Barry D I agree with you and I am not against things like the Preadtor Drones we are usking with greatr success in Pakistan. I realize that also eliminates of the messy problems if one of our guys is captured.

In some ways look at the last conflict the technolgy in Iraq has actually reduced collateral damage in many cases.

Still there is something a tad disconcerting about Drones being flown by Military guys all the way back in Florida in some ways . I support that move but it makes one think I suppose.

I am no pacfist by any means. My firends consider me a NEOCON Hawk. Still I am worried about bombers that have no pilots to actually drop the bombs. Pilots that have to deal with the various moral questions they encounter personally and then we all discuss.

Taking too much of the human component out of warfare is frigtening to me in some ways.

Anonymous said...

doesn't the concept of robot only battles turn all conflicts into a battle of production capabilities?

also, if their are no human costs, does that significantly lower the bar for the start of conflict?

Pro Ecclesia said...

Now you have Jimmy Akin linking to you over at National Catholic Register. Way to go!

日月神教-任我行 said...