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February 8 2013

Can Machines Learn Morality?


When John Brennan, President Obama’s choice to be the next head of the CIA, appeared before a Senate committee yesterday, one question supplanted all others at his confirmation hearing:

How are the decisions made to send killer drones after suspected terrorists?

The how and, for that matter, the why of ordering specific drone strikes remains largely a mystery, but at least one thing is clear–the decisions are being made by humans who, one would hope, wrestle with the thought of sending a deadly missile into an occupied building.

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