• The dark side of drones

    Jon Spaull


Drones “are being used in ways which fly in the face of humanitarian law”, says robotics and artificial intelligence expert Noel Sharkey. His concerns stem from the use of drones in the increasing automation of warfare. He also sees a danger of “creeping authoritarianism” in their expanding application in the civil world.
Sharkey explains how drones and robotics could help save civilian lives in conflict zones, but questions whether there is the global will to commit the resources needed to implement these innovations.
Sharkey, from Sheffield University in the United Kingdom, was interviewed after appearing on a panel last week (26 February) at the Global Health Film initiative event on the targeting of health facilities and personnel. The three films screened explored this issue in conflicts in Palestine, Syria and elsewhere.