Drones don’t kill people… People kill people!

Cora Currier writes an article from the Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference that is fabulous in how full of rhetorical samples it is from all sides of the great drone debate. Some of my favorites: ‘drones are not responsible;’ ‘they just follow orders, they do things autonomously, they die’ (that one is really great. they follow orders and they do things autonomously? awesome); oh- and ‘they can help accompany a family on vacation in Hawaii.’ Really? We really will have the family drone packed up in our luggage so that when we are walking on a Hawaiian beach it’s reassuringly there, buzzing above our heads? 


‘It is transformative technology, but not the way people think.’ – so there is more nuance to this drone concept than we write about and talk about? Interesting.  One philosopher says Drones represent a new ontology of social being, and that we will get over the concern in the future just as our forebears got over their anxiety regarding elevators. Elevators?


I am really impressed by the diversity and absurdity of commentary in the article. Reading the article is truly educational if only to demonstrate that this space is utterly uncrystallized.  Even our experts are groping, trying to understand how to talk about drones and trying to understand just what autonomous flying robots really represent. This is a rich time for serious discourse, and I do believe accountability, robot smog and power relationships will see profound conceptual shifts as we struggle to understand and live with our impending drone future. Truly, these are not elevators, guns or cars. Those comparisons fall flat in the face of what we will all see in the near future.

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