Killer Robots

TitleKiller Robots
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2009
PublisherAssociation for Practical and Professional Ethics
Publication Languageeng
AbstractAs the military moves forward on the development of machines that could be used to kill enemy combatants, many are worried that these machines could be captured and turned into devices of terrorism. In this scenario, a machine is developed to self-destruct in the event that it is disabled in a combat situation. To keep the self-destruct setting from harming U.S. military personnel, the software developers of the machine programed it to hibernate until U.S. personnel leave the scene and then self-destruct. No problems arose until one day after a ambush, a hibernating machine self-destructed while surrounded by a crowd of curious civilians and children, killing 138 of them.
NotesCase Study from the 2009 National Ethics Bowl. Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, 2009