The Ethics of Unmanned Weapons and Lethal Force in Modern Warfare

About this Podcast...

How far and to what extent can autonomy be reasonably employed in modern warfare? Professor Noel Sharkey, head of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at University of Sheffield, has been wrestling with the ethical ramifications of this issue for the past 30 years. When it comes to autonomous weapons, designers must consider a very broad spectrum of autonomy. Autonomy might be deployed on a limited basis, as in navigation. It could, in the future, extend to completely autonomous targeting and killing. He is sure of one thing, however, and that is the requirement set forth in Geneva Conventions in discriminating the competent versus the non-competent opponent. Listen to find out more about how theory is matching up to application.

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