by James Jay Carfano
The Heritage Foundation
August 06, 2014
Autonomous technologies may well be a defining characteristic of future generations of military systems. In order to address these challenges prudently, three things are necessary: First, to define autonomous technology clearly, and assess its current capabilities and limitations. Second, to appreciate the ethical implications of developing and employing autonomous technologies, as well as which safeguards might be put into place to avoid abuse. Third, to understand the current legal framework addressing their employment. Autonomous technology is a promising area of development, and has the potential to greatly increase U.S. military capacities. Congress should encourage research on autonomous technologies by providing adequate funding, creating clear policies for autonomous capabilities and use, and supporting a sensible legal framework to govern such systems.

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