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Killer Robot Use In Dallas Raises Ethical Questions
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Technocrati
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Technocrati,
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7/11/2016 | 2:54:39 PM
Bomb Carrying Robots
I really dreaded learning a robot was used to deliver a bomb in the recent Dallas shootings. The police departments have basically a military arsenal to use against citizens and now we can add robots to it.

Policing is not warfare unless we make it that way, which is just what these robots will eventually do.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
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7/11/2016 | 3:40:53 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
Police swat teams have had bomb removal robots for years. This was an improvised operation where the robot was the vehicle that delivered the bomb but the humans made the decision to detonate it. Similar to the drones. They are always under human control, they are just vehicles to get to places where human life would be at risk. The Dallas PD already lost 5 policemen to this deranged person, they had to put a stop to it quickly before even more lives would have been taken.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
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7/12/2016 | 6:18:05 AM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
tjgkg, Indeed, as an improvised operation certain unique conditions had to be considered.  

The robot was mainly used as a walking weapon. Instead of a police officer carrying a gun to kill the murderer a robot carrying a bomb was used. The bomb was used because it's the only thing a robot controlled by a human can carry and drop. If the robot woud have been articulated and able to carry a gun it would have been the same.

What is the ethical question in this case? I don't see any. The murderer had already killed several police officers and other people. I understand that the ones in charge didn't want to risk losing more lives. I don't see anything questionable here.

 

-Susan  

 
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
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7/12/2016 | 8:06:58 AM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
Susan,

I also do not see any ethical issues in this case either. I think it was smart use of existing technology to end an already deadly situation that had the potential of getting worse. This will now be incorporated in all PD's that have these types of robots. Maybe it will make killers think twice about doing this again. I hope so.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
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7/13/2016 | 1:23:46 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
tjgkg, 

I also agree it was a smart use of existing technology that helped to prevent the unnecessary loss of more lives. 

Yes, as I said before, if the technology available is used with responsibility, and if the PDs can use robots to win when fighting criminals such as this one I don't see any problem.

-Susan  
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
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8/8/2016 | 5:00:31 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
Susan,

Totally agree. In this case it saved the lives of police officers who would have had to storm the criminal who had been trained by the military so he sort of knew how to handle such situations.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
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7/12/2016 | 1:37:49 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
I think what the author meant by "ethical question" was the taking it one step further - that is, using AI to make the decision to pull the trigger.  Apparently the technology exists so it's only a matter of time until it's employed.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
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7/13/2016 | 1:15:01 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots

@Susan @tjgkg    I understand your points and agree, my issue is that this has opened a "pandora's box" and these types of tactics will be used in the future for situations that do not warrant it.

Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
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7/13/2016 | 9:30:22 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
Technorati, 

This was going to happen any time. The technology is there and it's there to be used. If it is used with responsibility I don't see any problem. In this case, I believe it was well used.

Too many lives had been lost already in the hands of someone who didn't mind killing people for the sake of it. He had to be stopped. There was not other option that could have guaranteed no more lives would be lost in an attempt to stop him. 

The robot was not an AI. It was not a killer robot. It was a piece of machine designed and controlled by a human, not different than a gun. There is not even an ethical issue here. 

-Susan 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
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7/12/2016 | 6:32:05 AM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
Technorati, 

If the police use that military arsenal and robots well, professionally, and in the right situations there wouldn't be any problem. However, there is a problem in abusing authority against citizens, which has been the case many times. 

We also have to remember that so far robots are instruments developed and controlled by humans. In this case, it was not a robot activating the bomb but a human. 

-Susan 
jastroff
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jastroff,
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7/12/2016 | 9:40:22 AM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
Perhaps it's already too late. The War has come home.

 

But if the police can do it, so can the bad guys. Technology is an euql opportunity deployer in these cases. 

We used to be afraid someone would drop a nuclear bomb and destroy the earth. Now it's more like "should i go to the movies..."
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
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7/12/2016 | 12:55:12 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
Which war has come home? This was not a terror killing, it was something caused by a deranged person. A lot of these episodes come about because of mentally deranged people seeking 15 minutes of fame and knowing now with social media and all the cameras ready to go everywhere, they will get it.

The full scale terrorists have not quite arrived here yet but will sooner rather than later if we do not eradicate them on their turf and secure our borders. There is way too much political correctness which is a byproduct of people living well in the US and not feeling the pain of the terrorists. The non existent leadership in Washington is allowing this to happen. But should terror attacks become the norm, there will be a different sentiment.

I remember growing up in the 60's and 70's where we had to "duck and cover" when a nuclear warning was issued. Thankfully only two nations had nukes back then and there was a lot more order in the world. Today everything is much more fluid, more nations have the nukes and unstable people are not afraid to use weapons of any type of destruction on innocent people.
Susan Fourtané
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7/13/2016 | 12:35:52 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
tjgkg, 

How right you are! I agree. This was not a terror killing. One of the scariest things is the high number of unsable people that can buy guns in the US and kill innocent people. There is no excuse for this. I believe only the governemt can change this. If not, be prepared for more frequent of these incidents.

It's a really bad thing when you go out with the uncertainty of not knowing if you are coming back alive that day. How many innocent people have died in the past six months? 

-Susan  
TerryB
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TerryB,
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7/13/2016 | 1:27:42 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
@Susan, the gun debate is out of control over here, much of it makes no sense. They use the 2nd Amendment of our constituition to block anything. The intention of it was good, especially back then, to make sure citizens (really militias if you read it correctly) have the ability to rise up against an injust government. But that is so ludricrous these days, the government has sattelites, planes, armoured vehicles and unmanned drones. Not to mention chemical and biological weapons if they really want to get nasty. The idea of citizens with pistols and rifles going up against that is folly. No way the founding fathers could see that coming. 

So the gun lobby hangs the right to buy any kind of weapon you want on that premise. And plenty of people support that, seem to feel having a gun in their house makes their family safer in case someone breaks in. Even though, if they were responsible, the gun would locked up where they would never get to it in time anyway. At least if they have kids anyway. 

The major argument is that "if guns are illegal, only criminals will have guns". No question that major criminal groups like cartels and organized crime will have guns. By selling drugs to finance, likely these teenage gangs which plague cities will have some guns. But none of these people are the ones walking into schools or nightclubs and doing mass killings. If handguns and assault weapons were illegal, these deranged lone wolf killers would not be able to afford them. Law enforcement would still have guns, they would tackle organized crime like they always have. No private citizens owning guns are waging war with drug cartels, the mafia, or street gangs anyway. 

Terrorism brings a different argument. Gun proponents say if more people carried guns (and knew how to use them) that terrorists would be killed after killing only 5 people instead of 25 people. After Orlando shooting and talk about banning assault weapons came up, Donald Trump argued that if people in the nightclub had assault weapons also, far less would have been killed. Yeah really, let's take assault weapons out drinking and partying with us. And as far as piece of mind after a terrorist incident, is the body count really an issue? It could still be you or your kids, even if that's all the terrorist gets before someone shoots him.

That's the problem with terrorism, they have complete element of surprise and go after the softest targets they can. We really want a society where you take your assault rifle to the ballgame? To school? To church?

The debate is a joke. But gun lobby has politicians in their pocket, politicians who only care about next election. Nothing is going to change.
vnewman2
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7/13/2016 | 4:01:54 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
@TerryB - "Sometimes there is no solution."  Just as in math, there are situations that are unsolvable.  No matter what variable is plugged into the equation, you will always get a contradiction.  This is one of those situations - IMO.
Susan Fourtané
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7/13/2016 | 9:45:47 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
TerryB, 

In a nutshell, imbalanced people killing innocent people will never stop in the US then. Have you ever wondered how other countries manage to deal with crime if common citizens don't own guns, and how those countries even have a much lower rate of crime? 

-Susan 
TerryB
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7/14/2016 | 1:13:28 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
@Susan, it would be an interesting study if handguns were out of equation. I often wonder how much of that is cultural in nature. I'm also not sure how much of the crime rate actually involves guns. Much of gun crime in US is from cities like Chicago, gangs killing gangs and any poor innocent bystanders in wrong place at wrong time. The other "common" gun crimes here are dosmetic issues, where estranged husband kills wife (and maybe kids) and then kills himself. Whether that would still happen with a knife instead is a good question.

But much of the US is not crime ridden by any means. Where I live I don't even lock my door when I go to work. Most cities, even Chicago, are very safe if you avoid a few problem areas you wouldn't go to anyway. 

Like @vnewman said, and I agree, some problems are just unsolvable. I work with guys who own guns and love to go target shooting. No one would ever need to worry about these people, I have no problem with them doing that. By nature, I'm not a fan of government taking away rights because some idiot might ruin their life, so they ban it for everyone. America is big on that. Gambling is perfect example, or smoking weed. The difference with guns is it has an amendment specifically protecting it. Plus it is a HUGE industry, lots of money at risk. Heck, company I work for makes products used to make ammunition. It's grown to be our largest market segment. 

Like I said, don't see much changing over here. Stupid, deranged people aren't going to go away either. It's a bad combo. 
Susan Fourtané
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7/21/2016 | 6:01:59 AM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
Terry, 

If people are irresponsible they shouldn't be granted rights to possess guns. What other country has the problem with guns the US has?

-Susan 
TerryB
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7/21/2016 | 12:49:01 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
Well, I'd say Afghanistan, Mexico, South America,  Iraq and Syria. :-)  But I know what you mean. In one of the Rogue Warrior books, mostly fictional books written by an ex Navy Seal named Richard Marcinko, he states that when Britain banned handguns that violent crime went up. Not gun crime, just overall crimes classified as violent. I have no way of verifying if he is correct or not. But other countries all have violent crime, we are talking % per capita. That's what makes me wonder if culture in places like Europe and Japan is just not as prone to violence. You can kill someone with a knife or baseball bat if so inclined to do so.

As far as "people are irresponsible", that's the rub. Only a small pct of people are irresponsible, by far majority who own guns are never a problem to anyone. Take a look at the Nice tragedy. Do we now ban trucks because some moron can kill many people with them?

The difference to me is trucks have a legitmate useful purpose, handguns are made to shoot people. Period. That gun supporters are so selfish they are OK with all the bad deeds done so that they can take their gun to shooting range (only legit place to use one) or feel safer in the .00001% chance someone breaks into their house intending to hurt their family (versus just steal property) is the issue.

Would I personally support a handgun and assault weapon ban? Sure. But that's easy for me to say because I don't own a gun now or have any desire to. But based on how country split now and how politicians don't want to make 50% of voters mad, I don't see this changing in America. One thing I don't want in America is a police state, we keep sliding closer to that everyday. France is facing same problem now.
tjgkg
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8/8/2016 | 5:07:08 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
Well said. I don't think a total ban on hand guns would ever happen nor would it solve the problem. I am for a ban on assault rifles. I don't understand why civilians should have that kind of military equipment. Amazingly the only gun ban that i think ever worked was the ban on machine guns in the 1930's. You really do not see those any more. But now things are getting worse with criminals getting their hands on body armour. It might not be long before they figure out how to weaponize drones. Laws don't work with criminals. All you can do is make it difficult for them to get these weapons and then severely punish them for their crimes. And by that i mean the death penalty. Like laws, executions will never stop hardened, determined criminals from taking chances. But it will stop them from comitting crimes again once administered.
Susan Fourtané
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8/9/2016 | 4:29:03 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
Terry, 

There are many countries in South America. Where is it that you say gun possession is legal? Is it legal in Mexico to have a gun in your house? 

The same with Europe, there are many countries in Europe. It's not fair to be general in this topic. For example, in the Nordic and Scandinavian countries you won't find the high rate of crime you can find in the US, the kind of crimes and vilonce we are discussing here. 

Well, neither guns nor trucks kill people. People kill people. I see your point. No, you can't ban everything because anything can be a weapon. 

I agree with you: Trucks have auseful porpuse. They are not made to kill people. Guns are. So, we can't really compare them, can we? 

-Susan
tjgkg
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8/8/2016 | 5:16:44 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
Great points.  Crime in NY had really gone down with Giuliani and Bloomberg. Not only gun crime but also quality of life crimes too. NYC turned back into a great place to visit and be proud of. Now things are changing a bit with the current mayor who takes a more liberal view of things. Good law enforcement policies and good policing will take care of most of the crimes. Some crime, whether it is major or minor will never be eradicated no matter how many laws go on the books because criminals don't follow laws.
tjgkg
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8/8/2016 | 4:57:53 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
Susan,

The gun control issue is really complex because control is predicated on state and local laws-not Federal ones. So in statee with strict gun control laws like IL and NY and even stricter in NYC and Chicago, you still get a considerable amount of crimes comitted with guns. In many cases this is because a gun is purchased in a state or locality where gun control laws are lax. There are supposed to be background checks but i am not sure how these people still wind up with the guns. And now these crimes are happening with alarming frequency in Europe where gun laws are draconian. Criminals will always seem to find a way to circumvent the law. I think the problem is bigger than a debate on the Second Ammendment or more laws. I think there is some sort of cultural change that needs to take place. And not only in the US but worldwide because the problem is getting worse because terrorism is getting out of control.  
Susan Fourtané
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8/9/2016 | 4:08:17 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
tjgkg, 

Yes, everything is getting out of control, not only the problem with guns. Violence is out of control. I don't remember in what part of NY that girl was killed, but it doesn't matter much. What matters to me is that she went for a run in the afternoon --I think she was training for a marathon-- and somone raped her and killed her.

So it's not just terrorism and guns. There is something really wrong with some people's mind. How do you fix that? You really need to dig in society, find the cause of the problem, and fix it. Does that ever going to happen?

-Susan  

 
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
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8/10/2016 | 9:31:26 AM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
Susan,

Yes that was a very sad story. I think violence is out of control because there has been a general loosening of restrictions. It is easier to travel. It is easier to communicate to a vast audience. Wars have been going on continuously for decades. There is a feeling that people are trapped economically. It is a number of issues that combine to create chaos.

Borders do need to be controlled. It is not a racial issue but an issue of security. I'm not sure how we can control the communication issue. A lot of crimes now happen because the criminal actually enjoys seeing themselves in the media. Many organized crimes like terrorism are coordinated through the internet via social media. People are recruited to join flash mobs or worse via social media.

So it seems the bad messages are getting the traction. People have a place to gather and gripe. And if necessary, they can take their actions to the streets.

There is also a lot of information on the internet that is easy to access. Maybe that is not so good. It makes it easy to plan crimes. It makes it easy for criminals to hack into systems. It makes it easy to see what is going on by viewing internet cams.

So I think the miscreants have always been here, they now just have an easier path to organize, plan and carry out their crimes. And with the lax security, the crime can more often be comitted than prevented.
Susan Fourtané
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8/10/2016 | 12:30:12 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
tjgkg, 

You have found the one word that summarizes it all: Chaos.

The advancement and easiness of travel and communications shouldn't have a negative side, though. As someone who travels often and hates feeling like a suspect, I can tell you that one of the problems I consistently see is that making things more difficult to the good people is not stopping the bad people to go commiting crimes. They simply get smarter and find new ways. As in cybersecurity happens, they always seem to be one step ahead. That's not good, isn't it? That's what needs to be fixed.

You say about borders, but there are other ways of moving around and certainly the ones who need to be stopped are not traveling and crossing borders like us. Is air traffic efficiently controlled? What about the seas and shores? 

It's impossible to control communications. It's true that many crimes have been commited for the instant moment of fame. Who is to blame here? If certain media wouldn't devote their efforts to give them so much publicity, if instead, they would report the facts, short, it might help. But they wouldn't create such a huge wave of shares and clicks. Business first, right? That's how it is. 

Yes, the Internet can be both a blessing and a curse in this case. It makes it easier to plan crimes, as you say, but it also makes life esier for us. As said before, new ways of stopping criminals need to be created without altering and bothering the life of everybody else. 

<"So I think the miscreants have always been here, they now just have an easier path to organize, plan and carry out their crimes. And with the lax security, the crime can more often be comitted than prevented."> Yes, I completely agree. New security alternatives should be created. The old ones don't work any more. 

-Susan

 
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
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7/13/2016 | 1:22:18 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots

"...We used to be afraid someone would drop a nuclear bomb and destroy the earth. Now it's more like "should i go to the movies..."

 

@jastroff   Excellent point.  Talk about being anti-social !  At this point, it is merely self preservation.

Banacek
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Banacek,
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7/12/2016 | 10:59:15 AM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots
I agree that police departments have way too much military hardware. Does every (or any) police department need an armored assault vehicle (since they all seem to have one)? Sometimes its hard to tell the difference between the police and the marines. Heck, you see them at airports? Walking around with automatic weapons and body armor? And EVERYONE has a SWAT team and a police force. The Agriculutural department has one. Really? They can't call in the FBI or something, they need their own?

And it has been shown that these tools are used not because they are needed, but to justify their existence. Maybe if the police stopped walking around like they were going into combat and became more accessible and part of the community, there'd be more trust going back and forth between them and the people...
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
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7/13/2016 | 1:26:32 PM
Re: Bomb Carrying Robots

 

"...And it has been shown that these tools are used not because they are needed, but to justify their existence. Maybe if the police stopped walking around like they were going into combat and became more accessible and part of the community, there'd be more trust going back and forth between them and the people..."

 

@Banacek   Bravo !  Well said and could not agree more !

Banacek
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7/12/2016 | 10:52:04 AM
Killer Robot? Really?
I love the over-reaching title. This wasn't a 'killer robot'. The robot had no self-awareness or even decision making capability. The robot didn't 'decide' or 'choose' to kill. People did that. A chain of command decided the only solution was to take down the suspect. This command was given to someone running the robot. This is absolutely no different than having a police sniper shoot the suspect.

Shouldn't the bigger question be whether they should have used deadly force and not, for example, a stun grenade? For I'm sure there'll be a wrongful death lawsuit coming out of this by the family and some scheister lawyer looking to grab headlines and a payday. But I'm sure they gave him every oppurtunity to give up, which is far more than he deserved. Heck, death was better than he deserved. Too quick and painless and easy...
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
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7/12/2016 | 12:46:13 PM
Re: Killer Robot? Really?
I don't think there will be a wrongful death suit brought by the family of the killer. The parents have gone on television grieving for what their son has done. Granted there might be pressure from the BLM and Al Sharpton activists but i doubt that will get very far.

With regard to the use of deadly force, when you kill cops in cold blood like that, you are pretty much toast. And rightfully so. Had he been taken alive, there was not only graphic evidence of his guilt, but also the fact thsi was premeditated so a death sentence would have certainly followed despite pressure from the activists and probably the White House. Plus Texas actually carries out these sentences even though it might take well over a decade thanks to interminable appeals.
Susan Fourtané
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7/13/2016 | 2:07:35 PM
Re: Killer Robot? Really?
tjgkg, 

<"Had he been taken alive, there was not only graphic evidence of his guilt, but also the fact thsi was premeditated so a death sentence would have certainly followed ... ">

Remember that discussion about human medical research and using inmmates with death sentences that could be used for this? If he had been taken alive, wouldn't had he been a good candidate for medical research? 

-Susan 
ScottW460
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7/13/2016 | 5:33:21 PM
Re: Killer Robot? Really?
As far as firearms are concerned, the horse left the barn long ago.

At this point in time if guns were outlawed only Outlaws Would Have guns.

I do belive other than military,law enforcement and other authorized authorities, should NOT posess Assault weapons, that's a situation where a large anmount of carnage can occur in seconds. I know, I had that training when I served in the military.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
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8/8/2016 | 4:36:58 PM
Re: Killer Robot? Really?
Susan,

I understand where you are coming from. For me though, I can't justify medical experiments even on barbarians like this. Don't get me wrong, I believe in the death penalty. But something about the term "medical experiments" doesn't sit right with me.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
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8/8/2016 | 5:34:31 PM
Re: Killer Robot? Really?
tjgkg, 

Perhaps you pictures a Frankenstein's kind of medical experiment? :) I am thinking more in new drug testing which could possibly cure cancer, or any other fatal illness and need to be tested for determining side effects, etc. It just occured to me that they could also be used for dermatological and beauty product testing as well. I would feel much better knowing a shampoo was tested on a rapist eyes rather than on an innocent rabbit. Really.

How is the death penalty right for you, but medical testing on rapists, murderers, and such criminals doesn't seem to be right? Could you please explain? I don't quite understand. Why would you have consideration toward them and wouldn't use them for testing drugs which could cure people, but the death penalty is Okay? 

-Susan  
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
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8/9/2016 | 9:51:48 AM
Re: Killer Robot? Really?
Susan,

For me, the death penalty is something that has been around since the beginning of human civilization. It is sanctioned in the Bible and other holy books in addition to secular law. I do not believe in ritual executions, but "humane" ones. I do not believe it is a deterrence for hardened criminals either. But i do believe it is an appropriate penalty to pay for heinous crimes.

With regard to medical experiments, yes to me it is a Frankenstein nightmare. It reminds me of the horrible events from WWII as it brings out the worst in humans. Maybe it is too broad of a term "medical experiments".

I do not approve of medical experiments on innocent animals. I was against it as early as HS Biology when i refused to kill a frog for a class.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
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8/9/2016 | 3:42:46 PM
Re: Killer Robot? Really?
tjgkg, 

I refused to kill animals for Biology class. I wonder if someone ever learned anything from that. This is one good example where Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) can be really useful. 

Well, I didn't use the term "experiment" but "testing." And I was referring to new drug testing. It didn't occur to me any WWII revival. Although, if I think of the criminal who attacked, raped, and killed that girl in New York recently, the one who had gone for an afternoon run, I wouldn't mind using him for any kind of testing that would bring something good to others. 

-Susan
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
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8/10/2016 | 9:10:00 AM
Re: Killer Robot? Really?
Susan, Yes VR or AR would have been much preferred in Bio class for those assignments. Thankfully i did not get in trouble for refusing to kill a frog. Some things are just so senseless.

It was my mind that goes to WWII in regards to any kind of experimentation. It's me. I'm probably too old to change at this point.

I know a lot of folks who feel the same way as you do about that jogger who was recently killed in NYC. There was a similar murder in Boston a few days later. There is speculation it could be the same person who comitted the crimes. He better hope he is not caught alive.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
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8/10/2016 | 10:56:24 AM
Re: Killer Robot? Really?
tjgkg, 

I got in trouble with the Biology teacher. I didn't care much. I was sure of what I had done, or not done. I told my mother. She said I did the right thing.

Never too old to change. :)

Yes, it was very distrurbing. You then realize that is not enough to stay away from trouble. That even if you are doing something as healthy as going for run you might be killed. There is not even need for a gun involved.

Freedom implies feeling safe when you leave your house in the afternoon to train for a marathon. I didn't know about the other killing in Boston. If the possibility of a serial killer is being contemplated it's not good. What about the CCTVs?    

-Susan
ScottW460
50%
50%
ScottW460,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/13/2016 | 5:21:32 PM
Robot Usage
I believe the police made the right desision under this particluar situation. It's obvious the police felt there was no way out of this without more inguries or loss of life the way they were proceeding. This time technology was used for good. I also realize this is a double edge sword that could swing in the wrong direction, i fear that imposing rules / laws for machine's like this would be the same as controlling all people good or bad that own firearms.


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