In Brief

The US Navy has invested $7.5 million to research the possibility of 'moral robots.'

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is giving $7.5 million worth of funding over five years to researchers from universities such as Tufts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Brown, Yale and Georgetown to research how to give autonomous robotic systems a sense of right and wrong and moral consequence.

The use of lethal fully autonomous robots are prohibited by the United States military, and even semi-autonomous robots first get instruction or confirmation from an authorized human personnel before selecting and engaging targets, but it seems the military isn’t completely closed off to the idea of autonomous robots being left alone to operate on their own.

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