The "Robot" used in the Police Killing of an armed and dangerous Dallas man, suspected in killing five DPD officers and wounding seven more was, to be sure, a rolling drone, somewhat modified, rather than some autonomous homunculus on a mission to kill a man.
Still, it's a disquieting moment when devices like this remote controlled unit, designed to investigate and possibly remove bombs, was used to deliver one that was meant to detonate.
Top of mind is the detachment and ease with which this state-sanctioned killing took place. Still, one has to wonder whether the use of the robotic device was at least as detached and easy as a man fuelled by hate, pointing a high-powered rifle at unsuspecting law men and women, and then pulling the trigger to the effect of hitting 12 people. Horrifying.
CNN describes how the situation took place here (story and video) and ZDnet discusses the controversy of death by government robot here. It's important to give some thought to these issues as we move toward a world where our technology penetrates every facet of our civil life.