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KNOWLEDGE INCREASED



Navy’s new drone has no pilot anywhere, so who’s accountable?


The LA Times reports: “The Navy’s new drone being tested near Chesapeake Bay stretches the boundaries of technology: It’s designed to land on the deck of an aircraft carrier, one of aviation’s most difficult maneuvers.

What’s even more remarkable is that it will do that not only without a pilot in the cockpit, but without a pilot at all.

The X-47B marks a paradigm shift in warfare, one that is likely to have far-reaching consequences. With the drone’s ability to be flown autonomously by onboard computers, it could usher in an era when death and destruction can be dealt by machines operating semi-independently.

Although humans would program an autonomous drone’s flight plan and could override its decisions, the prospect of heavily armed aircraft screaming through the skies without direct human control is unnerving to many.

‘Lethal actions should have a clear chain of accountability,’ said Noel Sharkey, a computer scientist and robotics expert. ‘This is difficult with a robot weapon. The robot cannot be held accountable. So is it the commander who used it? The politician who authorized it? The military’s acquisition process? The manufacturer, for faulty equipment?’…” (Is the answer for this invention any different from nuclear weapons? I’ll leave this one to Yahweh our Righteous God – “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” – Ecclesiastes 12:14.)



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