The beginnings of a public citizens' debate on the topic of the first generation of killer drones is only taking place now, as witnessed by the conference called "Drone Summit: Killing and Spying by Remote Control," held by CODEPINK, Reprieve, and the Center for Constitutional Rights as I write this.
The second generation of drones will be upon us shortly. They will raise questions as to whether machines should have power over human life and who, if anyone, well be responsibile for robotic killing in time of war. The somewhat Frankensteinian nature of the question--an autonomous creation that kills the species that created it--makes it more likely that there will be some public discussion, though whether that influences the decisions to build and deploy is a different question.
This article was originally published at scribillare.com.