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Autonomous Killing Machines: The Future of Warfare?
For the designers of machines and the soldiers who use them, killing is an
act. This reduces their accountability to what is happening on the ground. With AKMs this distance will increase.
The use of AKMs reduces domestic accountability as there is less motivation at home to ask what a country is doing with soldiers abroad.
The emergence of high rates of PTSD in UAV pilots suggests an acute awareness of what is unfolding on the ground.
It will be easier to hold AKM operators responsible for wrongful actions. Thus, accountability might actually increase.
An AKM may be programmed with highly restrictive rules of engagement, with the potential with higher compliance with international law than what a human operator could achieve.
Many soldiers through out history have been killing in a socially distanced way without any personal attachment to their victims. Roman legionnaires didn't think twice about killing rebellious slaves for example. Since then we had more machines and less killing.