Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

Artificial Intelligence- Unauthorized to Kill

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Technology
Wordcount: 3851 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

Reference this


 This paper recognizes certain benefits from Artificial Intelligence. However it should not have its own ability to take human life on its own. This restriction also pertains in a warfare environment. Although artificial intelligence (AI) has great potential and possibilities to be good for humans, it should also remain under close supervision in its field of study. Such technology could comparatively be as or more detrimental than the Atomic Bomb. Studies show AI threatens and affects jobs to humans everywhere, while at the same time creating new jobs and opportunities in technology. Understanding that artificial intelligence is no single thing, it is hard to regulate. Mankind’s study currently has decided to regulate AI’s ability to autonomously take life to the effect of no ability without a “human authorization.”

 Keywords: Autonomous Weapons, Artificial Intelligence, Restrictions


 The integrating of nuclear arms race into the new technology race is how we have come to a nuclear technologic advanced arms race. Autonomous weaponry is a real thing with Israel’s Iron Dome and David’s Sling Weapon Systems. These are missile-intercepting systems designed to protect Israel’s civilization from enemy extremist attacks. 


 Instead of loosing forty million or more human lives in World War One and another eighty million more commutative deaths in World War Two by the end of 1945, many lives could have been saved if the use of artificial intelligence would have been previously invented. Technological advancements began in the Second Industrial Revolution, 1870 to present. With the faster communication of the corded telephone, impressive power output of the first diesel engine, and Orville Wright’s first engine powered flight in 1903; technology and science had not advanced enough and were nowhere near conceivability of artificial intelligence. This incredible modernized technological age glimpsed in 1955 when John McCarthy and colleges created a computer program that could independently play a game of checkers, and was presented at the Dartmouth College Summer Artificial Conference (McCarthy). This game of checkers was the first micro autonomous technology of its kind and literally opened up a new perception of technology that we are still grasping and developing today.

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

 Currently little projects rapidly snowball into much bigger ones. From small home security systems to national and even international security systems, robotic engineers in the civil, and private sectors of U.S. Department of Defense have conducted research on artificial intelligence on a macro international security capacity. “The US has developed and is improving its sector of defenses. It is a much larger and integrated national security systems. They are nick named Systems of Systems (Svendsen).”  Not only is artificial intelligence over taking microcomputer systems, its popularity in industry has expanded to a macro-industrialized scale. The macro scale is stating how these computer programs where once for simpler uses of checkers, global positioning systems (GPS) and laser followed targets (Command to Line of Sight, CLOS). Now artificial intelligence is utilized to a macro scale. It is used in all U.S. F22s F35s fighter jets, bombers, spy drones and UAVs referring to Unmanned Arial Vehicles. Not these entire examples fly unmanned, but they all have the capacity to self-fly by the means of artificial intelligence. As mankind has imbedded these technologies the golden question has come up. Simply put, should artificial intelligence have the power to take life?

 Giving this self decided lethal ability would completely remove the human element out of war thus turning our beautiful humanistic world into ruthless video game.               Star Wars and Ironman were fun Hollywood ideas to make money in the cinema business. As we know human life is way more important than science fiction. Artificial intelligence should not have the ability to take life for several reasons. Artificial intelligence has limitations, weakness, and fails to have emotions.  To believe computerized technology is a “fix all” to safe driving is a lie. Statistics may show benefits outweigh the problems, but the fact still stands. On May 7, 2016 a Tesla car killed its driver while speeding nine miles over the speed limit into a semi trailer. New York Times Article said, (“The regulators warned, however, that advanced driver-assistance systems like the one in Tesla’s cars could be relied on to react properly in only some situations that arise on roadways. And the officials said that all automakers needed to be clear about how the systems should be used. Almost all major automakers are pursuing similar technology. “Not all systems can do all things,” said Bryan Thomas, a spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency that investigated the car involved in the May accident. “There are driving scenarios that automatic emergency braking systems are not designed to address.” -Boudette). If AI cannot completely guarantee safety of its drivers, we should not expect its capabilities to preform any different in a battle zone environment?

 Incredibly, what has proven very effective is Israel’s Iron Dome System. Israel’s Iron Dome system is an example of this level of autonomy. Additionally, South Korea has placed a sentry robot along the demilitarized zone.

A group of robotics and AI researchers, joined by public intellectuals and activists, signed an open letter that was presented at the 2015 International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, calling for the United Nations to ban the further development of weaponized AI that could operate “beyond meaningful human control.” The letter has over 20,000 signatories, including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Noam Chomsky, as well as many of the leading researchers in the fields of AI and robotics. – Etzioni)

The founder of Tesla, Elon Musk said, “We need to be super careful with AI as it could potentially more dangerous than nukes. I’m increasingly inclined to think there should be some regulatory oversight of AI, maybe at the national and international level.”- Etzioni)


Current U.S. Military AI Projects

The U.S. Army and Military objective publicly released in January 2018 states their current desire and efforts to develop a system that can be integrated and deployed in a class 1 or class 2 Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to automatically Detect, Recognize, Classify, identify (DRCI) and target personnel and ground platforms or other targets of interest. The system should implement computer generated and programed AI learning algorithms that provide operational flexibility by allowing the target set and DRCI taxonomy to be quickly adjusted and to operate in different environments. 

The use of UASs in military applications is an area of increasing interest and growth. This coupled with the ongoing resurgence in the research, development, and implementation of different types of learning algorithms such as Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) provide the potential to develop small, rugged, low cost, and flexible systems capable of Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) and other DRCI capabilities that can be integrated in class 1 or class 2 UASs. Implementation of a solution is expected to potentially require independent development in the areas of sensors, communication systems, and algorithms for DRCI and data integration. Additional development in the areas of payload integration and Human-Machine Interface (HMI) may be required to develop a complete system solution. One of the desired characteristics of the system is to use the flexibility afforded by the learning algorithms to allow for the quick adjustment of the target set or the taxonomy of the target set DRCI categories or classes. This could allow for the expansion of the system into a Homeland Security environment. 

U.S. Military is currently in the rigorous and highly-classified process of conducting an assessment of the key components of a complete objective payload system constrained by the Size Weight and Power (SWAP) payload restrictions of a class 1 or class 2 UAS. Systems Engineering concepts and methodologies may be incorporated in this assessment. It is anticipated that this will require, at a minimum, an assessment of the sensor suite, learning algorithms, and communications system. The assessment should define requirements for the complete system and flow down those requirements to the sub-component level. Conduct a laboratory demonstration of the learning algorithms for the DRCI of the target set and the ability to quickly adjust to target set changes or to operator-selected DRCI taxonomy. 

Their goal is to demonstrate a complete payload system at a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 or higher operating in real time. On-flight operation can be simulated. Complete a feasibility assessment addressing all engineering and integration issues related to the development of the objective system fully integrated in a UAS capable of detecting, recognizing, classifying, identifying and providing targeting data to lethality systems. Conduct a sensitivity analysis of the system capabilities against the payload SWAP restrictions to inform decisions on matching payloads to specific UAS platforms and missions. 

AI technologies from many sources are working together to develop, integrate and demonstrate a payload operating in real time while on-flight in a number of different environmental conditions and providing functionality at tactically relevant ranges to a TRL 7. Demonstrate the ability to quickly adjust the target set and DRCI taxonomy as selected by the operator. Demonstrate a single operator interface to command-and-control the payload. Demonstrate the potential to use in military and homeland defense missions and environments. 

Current AI Technologies Advance

In 2018, the U.S. Army recently announced that it is developing the first drones that can spot and target vehicles and people using artificial intelligence. This is a big step forward. Whereas current military drones are still controlled by people, this new technology will decide whom to kill with almost no human involvement.

Once completed, these drones will represent the ultimate militarization of AI and trigger vast legal and ethical implications for wider society. There is a chance that warfare will move from fighting to extermination, losing any semblance of humanity in the process. At the same time, it could widen the sphere of warfare so that the companies, engineers and scientists building AI become valid military targets.

Existing lethal military drones like the MQ-9 Reaper are carefully controlled and piloted via satellite. If a pilot drops a bomb or fires a missile, a human sensor operator actively guides it onto the chosen target using a laser. Ultimately, the military crewmembers from countries around the world should have the final ethical, legal and operational responsibility for killing designated human targets. As one U.S. Reaper operator states, “I am very much of the mindset that I would allow an insurgent, however important a target, to get away rather than take a risky shot that might kill civilians.”

Even with these drone killings, human emotions, judgments and ethics have always remained at the center of war. The many traceable existences of mental trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among drone operators have consistently shown the psychological impact of remote killing. And this actually points to one possible military and ethical argument by Ronald Arkin, in support of autonomous killing drones. Perhaps if these drones drop the bombs, psychological problems among crewmembers can be avoided. The weakness in this argument is that you don’t have to be responsible for killing to be traumatized by it. Intelligence specialists and other military personnel regularly analyze graphic footage from drone strikes. Research shows that it is possible to suffer psychological harm by frequently viewing images of extreme violence.

AI Emotional Stress Continues

Emotions are conscious and subconscious feelings. These feelings can be both the reasonable driving force to a future action or an end result, which follows actions. In the case of future actions Artificial Intelligence has none. The machines always do what they are told. No emotion has some benefits. The machine will never hesitate, think twice on a command, or have conflicting feelings of its actions. Soldiers are much opposite. Sure they learn many robotic commands and act strict at times, but behind every straight face salute there is a service men who ultimately signed up to serve its country. This dignity in self and country cannot be programmed. Any drone (UAV) will be loyal to the designer and no one else. If we see a drone let it be a sign that our men are actively serving right in front of us for which they are.

The two ways artificial intelligence works is humans can control the AI involvement as directed by humans or from an outsourced programmed algorithm. My argument is that the humans and not computer programs should decide all actions that could lead to the loss of human life.

“Recently in 2018, over 100 U.S. Reaper crewmembers were interviewed for an upcoming book, every person interviewed who conducted lethal drone strikes believed that, ultimately, it should be a human who pulls the final trigger. Take out the human and you also take out the humanity of the decision to kill (Peter Lee).”

Ultimate AI Responsibility

A common misconception is that soldiers suffer less Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, if they are only controlling things via satellite. That is not true. Responsibility never just disappears. The soldiers in a remote area have suffered all the same stresses by viewing the after math and damage they did. Psychologists have studied that drone men who frequently view footage that has to do with death at all, are susceptible to the same side effects of soldiers who worked while living in the battle zone area.   Remember just because something is easily done, it should not let any service men feel less responsible. Think of all the men it takes to run any given unmanned aircraft vehicle. So many jobs are assigned to make this drone do its job. Many men will contribute by fueling, arming with explosives, external cleaning, internal programming, and more. 

Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services

Another gray area is the target issue. What if the coal plant powers livelihood of civilians, but may also energize enemy forces? Do you blow up a target that would make your enemy suffer at the suffering of local civilians? This is what a double or dual target is. Some foreign countries like the U.S. assistance until there is a conflict on how to most effectively put an end to the enemy.


Research Q&A

Why shouldn’t we allow AI to be able to kill?Some in the AI community are confident in the abilities of Artificial Intelligence.  Their enthusiasm has a way of grabbing the public interests. Especially when they make strong claims that AI actually should be able to kill. Fortunately, most level headed people get that war is about taking life for a greater purpose; we shouldn’t allow something non-human to accomplish human removal, because the no program can ever understand the reason of war like human thought can. Another question is can’t we trust AI to make ethical decisions better than humans? No because there is always some flaw in every program. And sure there is always some flaw in every soldier, but I’d rather the responsibility be on a soldier and not a programmer. And what would happen if a enemy programmer were to hack our AI system? Even with the best cyber security developments, AI as all computer programs is somewhat vulnerable to potential hacking. Additionally, advanced hackers may create ways to alter the AI programs and begin using AI against the world in an adverse manner. Some opposing viewers think it would be better to completely replace soldiers with robots. I disagree because the organized military does two things; it employs citizens and strengthens foreign powers in unity. What would the world powers be if we left our preferred interpersonal communication instead of talking to a robot? Why is it any different to have a soldier run the robots opposed to the robot thinking for its self? At the end of ever situation, the responsibility is on the soldiers currently engaged in and monitoring the situation, not the disconnected programmer. Would it be better to have robots for their abilities take emotion out of the equation to killing? No. The element of human emotion is the last filter on what is determined to be humane and inhumane. The leader is the one in charge and follows leadership and military protocol while being mindful of justice. How do robots think in comparison of the human mind? Presently most robots are pre-programmed to think via algorithms controlled by computer generated learning data assimilation. A robot does not have the human intelligence to think, reason and react as a God-created human mind. Additionally, robots have no element of emotion attached to their decisions or thinking processes.


Definition of Artificial Intelligence

 What constitutes AI technology / unmanned armed aircraft / how do rules of wars come about? Rules of war have evolved over the centuries as the ongoing advances of technologies have progressed. AI technologies concerning armed unmanned fighter aircraft and drones are still quickly evolving as the continued development progresses. What are the laws or international AI code of war? The international laws of war have progressed and changed over the centuries as technology advances and military machinery have changed. These laws have been designed to protect mankind but are not always adhered to by all countries in a war situation. Which AI drones have killed the most? How many lives did that save? Various technologies have been implemented into different AI drones throughout the world. As technologies are continually advancing, the older drones are replaced with newer more advanced drones, which have a better understanding of computer generated learning and artificial intelligence algorithms. The only lives saved by the AI war drones are the lives of the pilots in the unfortunate event that the enemy shoots down the AI drone. Is the cost to build AI drones worth the payout of our human lives?

Unfortunately, currently the global AI technology developments are in the forefront of the value of human lives. It is almost a competitive scientific and technology driven race to research and develop the most advanced AI to be applied in war. Ethically, no the advancement and creation of AI warfare should not take precedence over the value of human lives, however, unfortunately that is not the current case on a global technology advancement basis. 


 In harmony with most unanimous Judean-Christian beliefs and my personal (Kristjan Schwendiman) answer is definitely no. However the U.S. military should utilize all technological advancements including artificial intelligence and its many capacities with the exception of ending human life. That decision or judgment to keep or end life shall ever remain squarely on the shoulders and mind of the trained militant human being and not preprogramed artificial intelligence. We should have robots with all abilities to execute missions controlled by full time soldiers. Many countries and soldiers currently control missions from around the world in the safety of some classified base.


Harwell, D. (2018). Google to drop Pentagon AI contract after employees called it the “business of war.” The Washington Post. Retrieved from www.byui.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgov&AN=edsgcl.541079064&site=eds-live

Larson, D. A.(2010). Artificial Intelligence: Robots, Avatars, and the Demise of the Human Mediator. Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, 25(1), 105-163. Retrieved from www.byui.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ofs&AN=502131563&site=eds-live

Svenden, A.D.M. (2015). Contemporary intelligence innovation in practice: enhancing “macro” to “micro” systems thinking via “Systems of Systems” dynamics. Defense Studies, 15(2), 105-123 doi.org/12.5/14702436.2015.1033850

Lanos, Ramon. (2017) Automatic Target Recognition of Personal and Vehicles from an Unarmed Aeril System Using Learning Algorithms Retrieved from www.sbir.gov/sbirsearch/detail/1413823

Boudette, Neal.(2017) Todays Self Driving System Cleared in Deadly Crash The New York Times, www.nytimes.com/2017/01/19/business/tes;a-model-s-autopilot-fatal-crash.html

Iron Dome Weapon System Short Range Air Defense, Retrieved from: www.rayheon.com/capabilities/products/irondome

Lee, Peter. (2018) Drones will soon decide who to kill. The Conversation. Retrieved from www.theconversation.com/drones-will-soon-decide-who-to-kill-94548


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please:

Related Services

Our academic writing and marking services can help you!

Prices from


Approximate costs for:

  • Undergraduate 2:2
  • 1000 words
  • 7 day delivery

Order an Essay

Related Lectures

Study for free with our range of university lectures!

Academic Knowledge Logo

Freelance Writing Jobs

Looking for a flexible role?
Do you have a 2:1 degree or higher?

Apply Today!