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Top General Warns About 'Smart Weapons' Going Rogue

Image: Top General Warns About 'Smart Weapons' Going Rogue

An Air Force MQ-1B Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (John Moore/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 11:23 AM

A top general warned the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday about the possibility of "smart weapons" getting out of human control and going rogue.
Air Force Gen. Paul Selva was addressing the topic of autonomous weapons systems controlled by human operators after Sen. Gary Peters inquired about a weapon system which puts the operator in charge of all decision making when it came to taking lives of others, reported The Hill.
Selva replied that the military should keep "the ethical rules of war in place lest we unleash on humanity a set of robots that we don't know how to control."
"I don't think it's reasonable for us to put robots in charge of whether or not we take a human life," Selva told the committee hearing which saw Selva reappointed as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Selva "predicted that there will be a raucous debate in the department about whether or not we take humans out of the decision to take lethal action," noted CNN.
This topic has been discussed during the military's investigation into the use of autonomous weapons systems.
"The idea of autonomous weapons systems poses some real ethical challenges," Selva said in a Department of Defense statement last year.
"DoD is working with experts on ethics, both from inside and outside the department, on the issues posed," he said then. "They are looking at the pitfalls of what happens when technology is brought into the execution of warfare."
He said the defense department was exploring innovations over the few decades, but one of the benchmarks in that process was that they not build a system absolving human leaders of the decision to execute a military operation.
"And that we not create weapons that are wholly and utterly autonomous of human interaction,” he said.
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A top general warned the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday about the possibility of "smart weapons" getting out of human control and going rogue.
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2017-23-19
Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 11:23 AM
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