Drones are often seen in photography and filming, giving us a new way to express our creativity. They've been successfully used for search and rescue missions, even (especially) in locations precarious to do by person. But what about its other... perhaps more sinister uses?
The Good, Bad, and Ugly
How are drones disrupting business, the military, and services like search and rescue? How are drones impacting the legal landscape?
I've already briefly mentioned drones in a previous blog post, and today's the day we dive deeper into them.
Drones are brimming with potential when it comes to delivery. Businesses like Amazon have already successfully delivered packages in small-scale tests, but regulatory hurdles have stopped it from becoming mainstream (at least, not yet)! This isn't necessarily a bad thing though, as there's plenty of questions that need to be asked and ironed out beforehand. How do we prevent drones from hitting each other? From hitting people? What about noise and light pollution?
On the topic of search and rescue - well, they too have also already been used successfully in limited circumstances. Once again, we simply aren't at a point where they can (or should) be used in everything; that doesn't mean they aren't used at all however.
Now, the darker side of drones. A drone can be used to save a life, but it can also be used to take a life. Most if not all fighter drones are state sponsored, which makes them legally dubious (not legal? we'll just pass a bill making it legal!) at best and internationally troublesome at worst. A common consumer can pretty much expect to never get their hands on one of these, but if they're unlucky enough they might find themselves an accidental target of one. Ouch.
That's right, drones have killed civilians. Even worse, the lack of transparency and accountability means we don't really know how many they killed. Which brings us to the next question: what's considered "ethical"?
What are some of the ethical issues that come with drones?
The biggest ethical debate with drones is when drones are directly involved in human life.
Does anyone get to decide whether a drone can determine the fate of a person or not? One flaw that often occurs here is the "I can, but you can't" argument - that say the United States can use drones in Pakistan, but all of a sudden if Pakistan started using drones it's a no-no. That simply won't happen; once the cat's out of the bag, it is out.
What are your thoughts on drones?