Friday, November 21, 2008

Survey Results regarding the use of Lethal and Autonomous Systems

Lilia Moshkina and Ronald Arkin,from the Mobile Robot Laboratory at Georgia Tech, have begun to report on the results of an online survey regarding the military use of lethal and autonomous robotic systems. They collected 430 full responses to their online public opinion survey before it was closed on October 27th of 2007. Of the participants, "234 self-identified themselves as having had robotics research experience, 69 as having had policymaking experience, 127 as having had military experience, and 116 as having had neither (therefore categorized as general public)." Their 2008 paper, Lethality and Autonomous Systems: The Roboticist Demographic, reports on the responses of the participants with robotic research experience. Generally, the participants felt that using robots in warfare outweigh the risks, however they felt that as more control shifts from humans to the robots, the less such an entity is acceptable. "67% of the roboticists believe that it would be easier or much easier to start wars if the robots were introduced into warfare, perhaps due to the fact that human soldier life loss would be reduced."

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