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Military Turing test to make autonomous war robots legal?

Darren Murph
February 29, 2008
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Not that we're experts on the matter or anything, but if barrister and engineer Chris Elliot knows a thing or two about legal issues, a kind of "military Turing test" could be the key to legally deploying autonomous systems in battle. As it stands, "weapons intrinsically incapable of distinguishing between civilian and military targets are illegal" -- at least according to Mr. Elliot -- but by testing an intelligent war machine's ability to hone in on legitimate targets and brush off friendlies, all that could change. Of course, actually administering the test still remains a mystery, but considering that remotely controlled armed bots are currently being used in Iraq, we reckon someone's already figuring out a solution to said dilemma.

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