Ethics are important?

Every class, seminar, training session, etc. I've attended that's had the subject of ethics has seen an almost instant mental "check out" of all the attendees.  It seems to be one of those subjects that everyone acknowledges as important but also as unnecessary to discuss.  You're either ethical or you're not, what's there to discuss?

Well, when you see stories like this you realize there's a whole LOT to discuss:

According to the Post, the groundwork has been laid "for scientific advances that would allow drones to search for a human target and then make an identification based on facial-recognition or other software. Once a match was made, a drone could launch a missile to kill the target."

Of course, at some point a human would have to decide what information the drones would be given — presumably, for instance, the data to be used to identify the individuals it might target.

But as the Post adds, "the prospect of machines able to perceive, reason and act in unscripted environments presents a challenge to the current understanding of international humanitarian law."

Here's a link to the Washington Post story that is referenced in the quote.

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