All hail our robot overlords
in Death machines
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This chapter focuses on the ethical implications of political violence in the context of recent developments in military robotics. It argues that the biopolitical underpinnings of killer robots institute a hierarchical relationship between man and machine, whereby machine technologies become necessary means of improving and protecting human life. The chapter begins by showing how contemporary military practices conceive of human life in and as code. It then uses a series of examples to illustrate how in this context, algorithmic modes of analysis represent a novel ideology in which human life is measured in and against machine standards of capacity, functionality, and performance. Finally, it argues that the resulting appearance of the human as a ‘weak link’ in contemporary warfare serves to further advance the legitimation and deployment of new violent technologies.

Death machines

The ethics of violent technologies

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