Drones: The Modern Prometheus

When Mary Shelly penned her thoughts on Frankenstein, she was not merely drawing attention to autonomous systems. Her attention was focused on creators. Drones can be regarded as the allegory to this tale. Thousands have been killed by unmanned aerial vehicles. This artefact is seen as a form of naked capitalism. It comes as not too much of a surprise that Apple has deemed it acceptable to block a software application that provides alerts to deaths caused by drone air strikes. There is now an escalating “drone race” - [China has unveilled its latest military drone]](http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-13/china-unveils-latest-military-drone). It is true of course that “[n]ew technology does not change the moral truth.” Alexandra Gibb and Cameron Tulk have produced a field guide.

Drones also redefine the way we engage with each other in the evolving battlefield. Researchers from Stanford and NYU produced a report, Living Under Drones, which can be consulted here. Is there a concept of a “Just Drone War”? Scholars are rightly turning their attention to the morality of drones - and not without time as autonomous systems will be the next phase in the development of military prosecution of wars.