While Isaac Asimov's famous (fictional) robot laws are all about protecting human life, it seems that at an ever-faster rate we fragile humans are actually using our robots to wage war in real life or deliver police authority from the sky.
That's prompted an interesting blog posting this week at the Wall Street Journal. Referencing Asimov's three laws, the blog asks "should robots have a license to kill?" It's a key question because we actually are giving some of our robots weapons that are trained on humans, and there's rarely a couple of weeks that go by without mention of the "drone war" on targets in the hills of Afghanistan or Pakistan. Drones work well in these inaccessible regions and can loiter in the area before being commanded to fire on a target they've detected with their sensors. Yet it's a tactic that doesn't always result in the right outcome.