11:15 - 11:45
From killing to healing: A tool called "Drone"

Short thesis

Rarely has a technology incited so much negativity from its advent as the drone technology. In so many war-affected countries including Pakistan, the word “drones” provokes the image of vicious, killing robots, and not without reason. In safer regions, people worry about their privacy with the image of such a robot hovering above them. In most minds, drones are the evil kind of science fiction becoming real. However, when judging the technology, what we forget is that these drones are human’s creation, and as such, a tool steered by human hands.


We live in an era where technology is progressing at an unprecedented pace. Science fiction is becoming reality and humanity seems unable to catch up. And just like the warnings of the sci-fi movies, humans feel that the technology is going out of hands. Many feel that the negative ethical implications of some technologies outweigh their human-friendly usage. The drone technology is one such technology that seems to be going rogue.

Though the skepticism towards drone technology stands valid all over the world, countries like Pakistan have borne the brunt of its advent, losing many innocent lives as collateral damage. Still, one wonders, how can humans keep on supporting the development of such devices?

Humans are curious beings, fascinated by their imagination. They are also builders, with the desire to turn their imagination into reality. This means that humans will keep developing tools to make sci-fi of today a reality of tomorrow. They will keep developing better and more "intelligent" drones, even drone swarms, capable of much more than what they do today.

My view is that, like any other technology, drones are nothing more than a tool. Whether they go rogue or stay ethical is in the hands of the ones developing and employing them. If humans using the tools are human-friendly, the tools will automatically comply.

Today, regardless of the negative connotation of the word “drones”, the examples of drone systems helping to improve human lives are abundant. If humans become less skeptical of the tool, and more aware of their responsibility as the wielder of the tool, numerous such contributive applications will be possible. Needless to say that debates about possible ethical implications of emerging technologies like drones are imperative. These topics have to be addressed in the course of the development of such technologies and not afterwards. Being critical of today's developments may keep us from being skeptical of such developments tomorrow.