Ethics and Computer Ethics

And another question: is it beyond the wit of computer experts and military strategists to build into the weapons they sell what I’ll call the Vogt Restriction (anyone remember The Weapon Shops of Isher?): namely that they cannot be used ‘against’ us. Vogt actually suggested that the weapons could only be used ‘defensively’, but I take it that this requires a judgement of value and meaning that is completely impossible for computers of anything like the present kind.

Was just talking with a friend who worked on the training system for the Patriot missile systems. Targets are categorized as friend, enemy, or unknown. You cannot fire on a ‘friend’, you must actually change the designation to enemy (which you can do).

— Anne Cole, Computer Science, SUNY at Plattsburgh

Comment: Better still, let’s have weapons that nobody can use against anybody. (Ed., SIP)