When machines are anthropomorphized, we risk applying a human standard that should not apply to mere tools.
By Patrick Lin
Originally published April 20, 2015
Here is an excerpt:
What’s objectionable to many about lethal autonomous weapons systems is that, even if the weapons aim only at lawful targets, they seem to violate a basic right to life. This claim is puzzling at first, since killing is so commonplace and permitted in war. If you’re a combatant, you are legally liable to be killed at any time; so it’s unclear that there’s a right to life at all.
But what we mean is that, in armed conflicts, a right to life means a right not to be killed arbitrarily, unaccountably, or otherwise inhumanely. To better understand the claim, a right to life can be thought of as a right to human dignity. Human dignity is arguably more basic than a right to life, which can be more easily forfeited or trumped. For instance, even lawful executions should be humane in civilized society.
The entire article is here.