‘Drones heading towards a Terminator-like reality’

A UK Defence Ministry report warns of moral risks of using unmanned drones.

Updated: Apr 18, 2011, 20:44 PM IST

London: The growing use of unmanned aircraft in combat situations raises huge moral and legal issues, and threatens to make war more likely as armed robots take over from human beings, according to a UK Defence Ministry report.

The report titled ‘The UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems’ warns of the dangers of an “incremental and involuntary journey towards a Terminator-like reality”.

It also says that the pace of technological development is accelerating at such a rate that Britain must quickly establish a policy on what will constitute “acceptable machine behaviour”.

“It is essential that before unmanned systems become ubiquitous (if it is not already too late) … we ensure that, by removing some of the horror, or at least keeping it at a distance, we do not risk losing our controlling humanity and make war more likely,” the Guardian quoted the report, as saying.

The report was drawn up last month by the ministry’s internal thinktank, the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC).

It coincides with continuing controversy about US drone attacks against suspected insurgents in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

ANI