Jacksonville University's newly formed, and soon to be ubiquitous, Public Policy Institute is holding a panel discussion this Thursday, October 24 at the Gooding Auditorium on "Military and Private Drone Usage". See Flyer Here
They've invited some impressive people including Ambassador Nancy Soderberg and Stephen Dare, publishing partner at MetroJacksonville.com - see the full panel and their bios.
Why does this matter and why is the Public Policy Institute opening this very important discussion?
Military Drones, it's just the beginning. Seriously, it's a little scary.
The term "killer robots" may sound like a b-rated movie followed by a dedicated cohort of dystopian-loving film nerds but it's actually a present reality and policy decisions about its use in warfare (and civil society) are eminent. Well, let's hope positive policy decisions are made by debate and discussion and not by military procurement - which is where are now.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or drones are just one element of a broader movement towards automated/robotic military technology. For now, military UAV’s are directly controlled by human operators and decisions to engage a target is one that still requires a human decision. This is a changing proposition. Technology already exists, though not explicitly used, to launch attacks based on predetermined algorithms. This is referred to as “Lethal Autonomy,” which essentially means, “ when robots kill independent of direct human decision making.”
This is not just about drones which will eventually log millions of hours of unmanned surveillance videos and will eventually be programmed to operate independently of direct human control. It is arguably about every type of robot you can imagine being programmed for specific military combat needs. This technology is incredibly tempting especially because it is cheap, at least it will be, when compared to the cost of empowering and training, you know, a human. What are those, again?