De Bello Robotico. An Ethical Assessment of Military Robotics

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Abstract

This article provides a detailed description of robotic weapons and unmanned systems currently used by the U.S. Military and its allies, and an ethical assessment of their actual or potential use on the battlefield. Firstly, trough a review of scientific literature, reports, and newspaper articles, a catalogue of ethical problems related to military robotics is compiled. Secondly, possible solutions for these problems are offered, by relying also on analytic tools provided by the new field of roboethics. Finally, the article explores possible future developments of military robotics and present six reasons why a war between humans and automata is unlikely to happen in the 21st century.

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