Automatic War: The ethics of Autonomous Weapons

Research Question:
How will using/incorporating Artificial Intelligence into the military affect the number of
casualties and deaths in war.
Hypothesis:
Using/incorporating artificial intelligence into the military will decrease the number of casualties
and deaths in a war.
Background/History of the Issue:
Artificial intelligence (AI) as a concept has been around for a long time even if it was not
called that. The idea of AI originates from the Ancient Greeks. They had myths about inanimate
objects gaining thought. Ancient Egyptian and Chinese built automatons, machines that move
like humans. These ideas and concepts were later expanded on by classical philosophers who
conceptualized the idea of the brain working like a system. The first time artificial intelligence
was used as a term was at the 1956 conference at Dartmouth College, when artificial intelligence
was created as subject of computer science.The advancement of this field has been a lot slower
than predicted but it has also been broadened as a field to encompass more subjects and ideas. At
this point the field has advanced far enough to be incorporated into military weapons. Many
countries have been studying the capabilities of these machines, however there is much debate
over the ethics of these machines.
Rationale:
I feel in these days we always hear about one international event that could lead to
disaster and war. This prospect is very daunting considering how much our militaries have been
advancing the weapons they use finding more and more deadly weapons to use that can
circumvent one national treaty or another. One big question is should these AI controlled
weaponized machines be used.There is arguments for both sides supporters using arguments like
it will save the lives of our fellow country men while the naysayers do not wish autonomous
machines to be able to kill any person or population that is considered to be exuding “aggressive
behavior.”
Basis of Hypothesis:
I picked this topic because I felt that artificial intelligence is an area of much research that
in the next few decades could revolutionize the world and the way we fight wars and deal with
problems. AI has the potential to affect the military like the nuclear bomb. This change in the
military is a major issue that should not be put off until the power of unmanned weapons are
actually demonstrated precautions should be taken right away.
Operational Definitions:

● Artificial Intelligence/Robot- a machine that can make decisions for itself
although it may need to check with an operator before acting on the decision
● War- Armed conflict between two or more countries involving soldiers.
Descriptions Used for Literature Search:
● Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
● Effects of Artificial Intelligence
● Military Casualties
● Military Robots

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