Headline from The Telegraph:
Pentagon hires British scientist to help build robot soldiers that 'won't commit war crimes'
(Text begins): The US Army and Navy have both hired experts in the ethics of building machines to prevent the creation of an amoral Terminator-style killing machine that murders indiscriminately.
By 2010 the US will have invested $4 billion in a research programme into "autonomous systems", the military jargon for robots, on the basis that they would not succumb to fear or the desire for vengeance that afflicts frontline soldiers.
A British robotics expert has been recruited by the US Navy to advise them on building robots that do not violate the Geneva Conventions.
Colin Allen, a scientific philosopher at Indiana University's has just published a book summarising his views entitled Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong.
He told The Daily Telegraph: "The question they want answered is whether we can build automated weapons that would conform to the laws of war. Can we use ethical theory to help design these machines?"