Can Robots Fight Wars? The Future of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems

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Should humans delegate the responsibility of decisions over life and death to computer algorithms? The answer is not as simple as it seems—and it is the fundamental question concerning the military application of artificial intelligence in the future.

The world has seen incredible technological advances in recent decades; not least of which is the advent of information technology.  Just as nuclear weapons, precision guidance systems and stealth technology set the U.S. military apart from its near-peer adversaries in the past, U.S. research and development institutions now seek innovations in additive manufacturing, advanced materials, synthetic biology and artificial intelligence to do the same today. But there are few technologies that present as many uncertainties for the future as the military application of artificial intelligence to develop lethal autonomous weapons systems.

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