Advances in technology have transformed modern armies. But as robotics and artificial intelligence progress, so do the chances that militaries will be able to develop ‘killer robots’ to fight future wars.

Known in military jargon as autonomous weapons systems, the robots may have capabilities to navigate and find targets without a human ‘pilot’. They may also be able to decide on their own to use lethal force. 

Such advances in technology have spurred a lively ethical debate. Can computers be entrusted with the decision to take a human life, and if so, when?

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss the development of ‘killer robots’ and the debate about their use.

Note: This program originally aired May 11, 2017.

Joining the program:

  • Joel Esposito, a professor of weapons and systems engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy.
  • Paul Scharre, the director of the Future of Warfare Initiative at the Center for New American Security.
  • Stephen Goose, director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.
  • Sharon Weinberger, a journalist and author of the book “The Imagineers of War: the Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World.”