THE MORALITY OF AUTONOMOUS ROBOTS

TitleTHE MORALITY OF AUTONOMOUS ROBOTS
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsJohnson, AM, Axinn, S
JournalJournal of Military Ethics
Volume12
Issue2
Pagination129-141
Date Published2013
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number15027570
Keywords& , AUTONOMOUS , DIGNITY , ethics , Honors , Human , MILITARY , Morality
AbstractWhile there are many issues to be raised in using lethal autonomous robotic weapons (beyond those of remotely operated drones), we argue that the most important question is: should the decision to take a human life be relinquished to a machine? This question is often overlooked in favor of technical questions of sensor capability, operational questions of chain of command, or legal questions of sovereign borders. We further argue that the answer must be ‘no’ and offer several reasons for banning autonomous robots. (1) Such a robot treats a human as an object, instead of as a person with inherent dignity. (2) A machine can only mimic moral actions, it cannot be moral. (3) A machine run by a program has no human emotions, no feelings about the seriousness of killing a human. (4) Using such a robot would be a violation of military honor. We therefore conclude that the use of an autonomous robot in lethal operations should be banned. 
NotesJohnson, Aaron M. 1; Email Address: aaronjohnson@alumni.cmu.edu Axinn, Sidney 2; Email Address: axinn@temple.edu; Affiliation: 1: Electrical and Engineering Department , University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia , United States 2: Philosophy Department , University of South Florida , Tampa , United States; Source Info: Jul2013, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p129; Subject Term: AUTONOMOUS robots; Subject Term: ETHICS; Subject Term: DIGNITY; Subject Term: MILITARY ceremonies, honors, & salutes; Subject Term: HUMAN life cycle; Author-Supplied Keyword: Autonomous robots; Author-Supplied Keyword: human dignity; Author-Supplied Keyword: military honor; Author-Supplied Keyword: morality; Number of Pages: 13p; Document Type: Article
DOI10.1080/15027570.2013.818399

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