Can Robots Live Side By Side With The Law?


Automated cars.. killer robots? Who knows what will be upon up in years to come with our modern advances in technology. The problem, however, is that when the laws of our land were constructed they did not account for the presence of robots who acted accordingly with their programming, rather than free will and consciousness.

When it comes to driverless cars, only four states found in Columbia have passed laws regarding automated technology. But what about everyone else? And what happens if  automated technology like found in driverless cars, expands into the invention of something like killer robots, with the potential to cause harm to a mass of people?

The UN has recently formed meetings devoted to this topic. They have stated that there needs to be limitations and restrictions imposed to the production of autonomous weapon systems that can stem beyond the capabilities of  the human military force.

The reason behind their concern, is that robots have the potential to take human life outside of human control. There would be no one to blame for unlawful conduct due to malfunctions – besides the manufacturers and inventors. They believe that it is crucial to take steps towards banning such technology before it has been made, so that it is easier to stop in terms of supporters and illegal trade, and also in order to protect humanity.

The belief is that terminator-style robots can not adhere to the law. Like driverless cars, there is a major issue with product liability, in that if there is an accident of malfunction, there can be no one to take responsibility first-hand. Weapons like robots, have the ability to decide on targets without human intervention, which has the potential to go horribly wrong. If the death of a human being is unconscious, then ultimately it disregards the entire humanitarian law.

However, some critics have argued that authorities should not pre-judge emerging technology, and focus more towards ways that technology regarding weaponry is likely to develop. In other words, we should not be making laws against killer robots and wasting time on meetings when we have no proof that this type of machinery is going to be made.  Instead, we should focus on more probable outcomes.

Regardless of this, diplomats agreed it wasn’t too early to start discussing such things.

Melissa from MLS says “I agree that pre-emptive methods should be taken to hinder the production of killer robots. Although there is no proof of such things occurring, we never know what the future holds, and with the way modern technology is advancing with machines like the autonomous car, it is likely that killer robots are a possibility for future production. It is always harder to ban things once they have been made, and in terms of product liability, who knows what a malfunction could entail!”


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