The Ethical Ambivalence of Technology

Drones: Not all Bad.

The press has focused on the ethically questionable uses for drones- on convert operations and killing at a distance. However, it is important to note that this technology, whilst certainly being used by the military, is not inherently military or lethal. To highlight this, listed below are some of the varied positive applications of remotely-piloted aerial vehicles:

  1. Drones helping to monitor traffic to reduce congestion: http://www.thonline.com/news/technology/article_0fd220b5-0534-55c0-9037-318dc2a1ec9e.html
  2. Drones used to help reintroduce rare breeds of pygmy rabbits into the wild: http://ktvl.com/shared/news/top-stories/stories/ktvl_vid_7640.shtml
  3. Drone to deliver sushi: http://mashable.com/2013/06/12/sushi-drone-delivery/?utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29&utm_cid=Mash-Product-RSS-Pheedo-All-Partial&utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedburner
  4. Drones searching out issues with crops: http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/573623/Drones-incorporated-to-detect-agriculture-problems.html?nav=8
  5. Drones documenting flood impact: http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2013/06/12/drones-play-peacetime-role-with-flood-coverage/
  6. Drones monitoring orang-utan populations: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jidmLRPLFocwsW3WRHd1zrrBDgEA?docId=CNG.30c857019925caf5fe3abe7a1ea9fc82.01
  7. Drones dropping off medicines and collecting blood samples in remote areas: http://www.healthcanal.com/public-health-safety/39648-smartphones-drones-to-save-lives-in-malawi.html
  8. Drones used to track the path of tornados: http://kosu.org/2013/06/how-drones-might-help-track-tornadoes/
  9. Drones assessing the state of oil fields in Alaska: http://kosu.org/2013/06/how-drones-might-help-track-tornadoes/
  10. Drones to discourage graffiti: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-05-29/german-railway-operator-deploys-drones-in-war-on-graffiti-artists
  11. Drones to help prevent Rhino poaching in South Africa: http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/environment/drones-to-help-fight-in-anti-poaching-war-1.1526137#.Ub4uK5wpqSo
  12. Drones to help prevent Bear poaching in Russia: http://en.ria.ru/russia/20130517/181207028/Drones-to-Keep-Tabs-on-Russias-Bears-and-Poachers.html
  13. Perhaps even bring you your beer at Music Festivals…: http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/branding/1561256/are-beer-drones-the-future-of-music-festivals-a-qa-with-darkwing

An interesting article that highlights this dichotomy can be found at:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2013/06/11/drones-can-save-the-world-drones-can-destroy-us-all/

Post Author

This post was written by lcm263 who has written 17 posts on The Political Effects of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

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