An article in the War Street Journal July 11, “In Defense of Killer Robots,” elicited this letter:
“Mr. Schechter attempts to allay concerns about the development of killer robots by arguing that these devices could be equipped with an “ethical governor” that “measures the proposed action against the rules of engagement and international humanitarian law.” Such a governor would either depend on a rules-based system of unimaginable complexity that will, nonetheless, fail in the face of infinite specific contingencies and an enemy intent on deception or on a yet to be invented technology that proceeds based on human powers of understanding and judgment. If the latter, these devices would no longer be rightly classified as robots and their ethical governors might very well object to being sent into battle or to being otherwise treated as a means to someone else’s end.”
Our constitution has failed to protect individual rights because humans, so easily, stray from principle to address special circumstances. The last part of this letter implies that a robot army could stifle the intentions of an evil government such as our own. I realize computers don’t make mistakes; that it is the user or programmer. But this is food for thought.