Assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute
In theory, robotic soldiers don’t get emotional, or revengeful, or angry. But the possibility of an accident raises issues of responsibility and liability, which are of great importance in military matters.
Increased autonomy thanks to AI, as well as maximised lethality, raises a philosophical problem: is the prospect of human soldiers facing bloodless, incredibly efficient machines acceptable?
But future autonomous systems might be perfect at targeting, so such a “precise” war would be less bloody.
Advances in precision warfare might also drive a new kind of dissuasion.
Ground robots pose specific technical challenges, especially in the field of mobility.
Full autonomy on the battlefield is out of reach for the moment.
But progress is rapid, particularly because these are dual technologies, which are not developed specifically for the military.
Journalist and Author
Editor of Telos and author, Richard Robert teaches at Sciences Po. He directed the Paris Innovation Review from 2012 to 2018. Latest books: Le Social et le Politique (dir., with Guy Groux and Martial Foucault), CNRS éditions, 2020, La Valse européenne (with Élie Cohen), Fayard, published in March 2021.