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X-47 Drone Testing Sparks Ethical Warfare Debate

Source: AVweb

Northrop Grumman’s X-47B drone may represent “a major qualitative change in the conduct of hostilities” according to the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which reports to the Geneva Conventions. The X-47B is entering tests to see it land on the deck of an aircraft carrier, autonomously — without in-cockpit or remote-pilot input. That sort of capability is only a precursor to what’s coming. According to an Air Force report (PDF), the improvements in drone technology will eventually give drones the capacity to make life-or-death decisions while engaged in battle. And “increasingly humans will no longer be ‘in the loop’ but rather ‘on the loop.'” And that, according to ICRC president Jacob Kellenberger, may challenge international law. [more]