The Case for Ethical Autonomy in Unmanned Systems
Arkin, Ronald C.
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The underlying thesis of research in ethical autonomy for lethal autonomous unmanned systems is that they will potentially be capable of performing more ethically on the battlefield than are human soldiers. In this article this hypothesis is supported by ongoing and foreseen technological advances and perhaps equally important by an assessment of the fundamental human warfighters in today’s battlespace. If this goal of better-than-human performance is achieved, even if still imperfect, it can result in a reduction in noncombatant casualties and property damage consistent with adherence to the Laws of War as prescribed in international treaties and conventions, and is thus worth pursuing vigorously.