Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Do Killer Robots Violate Human Rights?

When machines are anthropomorphized, we risk applying a human standard that should not apply to mere tools.

By Patrick Lin
The Atlantic
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.