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Benefits, Risks And Ethical Concerns Of Drones

Evening Edition

Aired 8/7/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Larry Hinman, Professor of Philosophy, USD, co-director, Center for Ethics in Science & Technology

Lucien Miller, CEO Innov8tive Designs


A pair of suspected U.S. drone strikes killed four al Qaeda militants in Yemen on Tuesday. That news story points to the growing use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, by the U.S. military and intelligence agencies.

Drones are not only being used in warfare. UAVs are starting to play an essential part in border law enforcement, in helping firefighters track wildfires and even in agriculture. However, concerns remain about the use of drones and the possibility of being spied on by an eye in the sky and questions about who takes responsibility for the actions of an unmanned vehicle.

The topic of drones will be explored tonight in a discussion sponsored by the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology. It will take place at the Reuben H Fleet Science Center, where there's an exhibit of UAVs called "On the Fly, Technology Takes Off."

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Avatar for user 'Frankie'

Frankie | August 7, 2013 at 9:36 p.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

KPBS today panders to the growing local drone-making industry with this program. It is no surprise.

Maureen promises to call them "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles" to scrub those unpleasant connotations of (very) long-distance spying and killing with which drones are correctly associated.

Personally, I don't WANT police deploying one of these devices from the trunk of an officer's car to assist in "locating" a suspect who might be on the run through backyards in my neighborhood. Also, I don't want cop-drones to be armed with crowd-control devices such as tear gas.

It's all beyond the pale.

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