Robots and Ethics……

Still image from Superman: The Mechanical Mons...

Still image from Superman: The Mechanical Monsters (1941), a Fleischer Brothers Superman cartoon which is now in the public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By now the whole world knows that there are military robots out in war zones performing tasks that are too boring, too dirty or too dangerous for humans to do.

There are drones ranging in size from mosquito tiny to airplane large.   There is artillery which can be fired by a computer at long distance.   There are robots which can assist infantry by carrying heavy loads.     Wars could be fought by robots controlled by humans sitting in armchairs with a beer in one hand and  a computer mouse under the other.

Robots are so advanced that people are now concerned about their ethics (not the ethics of using them but the ethics of what the robots might actually do).    The mind boggles.    I had always thought that the First Law of Robotics was “Thou shalt not harm a human” but obviously that will need to be changed.

Homo Sapiens…..oh if only…   Humans are thinking of inserting  ethics chips into  robots before they’ve  sorted out the ethics of war for themselves.


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