33.2 | Sara Deutch Schotland

“Out of the Loop”: What Drone Fiction Can Teach about the Regulation of Collateral Damage from Lethal Autonomous Weapons

Under the current United States Department of Defense policy, military drones are semiautonomous aerial vehicles operated remotely, with some level of human supervision. However, at a time when China has developed a fully autonomous drone, the question arises whether other political powers will follow suit or retain humans “in the loop” for drone targeting and engagement. Short stories such as “Collateral” by Peter Watts and “In the Loop” by Ken Liu caution against the risk of civilian casualties if machines make the final decisions in target choice without human oversight.