2013 Plenary 5: Robot Wars: The Technology Strikes Back

The panelists discussed society’s access to technology and whether expanded access to technology is beneficial or dangerous and disagreed about the need for government transparency for security technology. Panelists agreed that technology has enabled an increased number of non-state actors to have access to weaponry. The panelists discussed the ability of government institutions to develop adequate policies to control new technologies.

The discussion spoke to the practicality of implementing rules on technology, growth and development because of the vast scope and scale. The panelists disagreed on this point as they spoke about the capability of many countries to develop drone technology and the subsequent necessity to control the use and proliferation of this technology and a disagreement on their use by military forces.

Panelists disagreed on the ability of the government to prevent technological advancements. Interaction and questions raised the issue of the use of lethal force in drones. Questions about increased hostility in the Middle East towards countries that use drones and UAV and the responsibility of members of the military to properly utilize this technology. Increased military accuracy in executing missions and whether this increased efficiency is worth the risk of removing the human element of military tools was also questioned. Panelists discussed whether or not the human element has been entirely removed, as drones are manned by individuals in a separate location. The panelists then wrapped up by projecting where technology would take them in five years and what the state of military technology and the use of drones would be.