Autonomous Weapons II: Autonomy Can Be Good

View image | gettyimages.com As the Future of Life Institute’s open letter shows, there are many people concerned about the development of autonomous weapons. This concern is reasonable, if
Philosophy News image
View image | gettyimages.com As the Future of Life Institute’s open letter shows, there are many people concerned about the development of autonomous weapons. This concern is reasonable, if only because any weapon can be misused to advance evil goals. However, a strong case can be made in favor of autonomous weapons. As the open letter indicated, a stock argument for autonomous weapons is that their deployment could result in decreased human deaths. If, for example, an autonomous ship is destroyed in battle, then no humans will die. It is worth noting that the ship’s AI might qualify as a person, thus there could be one death. In contrast, the destruction of a crewed warship could results in hundreds of deaths. On utilitarian grounds, the use of autonomous weapons would seem morally fine—at least as long as their deployment reduced the number of deaths and injuries. The open letter expresses, rightly, concerns that warlords and dictators will use autonomous weapons. But, this might. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

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