Killer Robots: Ethics in the age of co-robotics

The prospect of machines on battlefields without human oversight has some anxiously urging Canada to lead the way in stopping robots that are designed to kill.
The prospect of machines on battlefields without human oversight has some people anxiously urging Canada to lead the way in stopping robots that are designed to kill. Peace advocates are calling for an international treaty banning killer robots, before something unexpected happens.

 

In the video above, David Wreckham claims to be a friendly robot. His fellow human protesters apparently believe him and brought him to Ottawa last week as part of a campaign urging Canada to take a stand on lethal autonomous robots. They're believed to be the weapons of the future, able to select and kill targets... all on their own.



Activists with The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots say the technology must be stopped now to prevent it becoming part of modern warfare. We gathered a panel of experts to discuss how the ethics of autonomous robotics goes far beyond killer weapons.

  • Ian Kerr, hold the Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law and Technology at the University of Ottawa. He is also the co-author of the forthcoming book Robot Law, and is a member of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. He was in Ottawa.
  • Kathleen Richardson is an anthropologist, robot expert, and research associate at University College London. She was in Cambridge, England.
  • Daniel H. Wilson is an artificial intelligence and robotics expert. He is also the author of the Robopocalypse and the upcoming sequel Robogenesis. He was in New York.

This segment was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins.

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