Publication details

Drones : A case for extended mind, cognition and emotions



Year of publication 2015
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The notion of drones as vehicles without humans on board, that is considered to be a beneficial factor for their remote operators, seems to be misleading if we consider a real life implications for these "pilots". It turned out that the existence of the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among those operators is at least at the same level as in the case of pilots fighting inside the cockpits above war zones. Thus remoteness of a "pilot" and his physical absence in military vehicle in fact does not really solve problems of harm and imply that human is still in some sense physically present in unmanned systems. If so, "unmanned" is not a proper word for these machines. In this talk I am going to argue from the position of the extended mind theory that unmanned vehicles create together with their operators coupled extended cognitive systems, where drones function as the extension of operators' cognitive functions, minds and potentially emotions. I will explore this concept of extended emotions in detail as one of the causes of such a high number of PTSD among drone operators. This could eventually lead to the reconsideration of a concept of drones as systems without humans and to a better grasp of them as extended systems where a man is still in a loop and highly physically participating. Such updated notion would bring new demands on the ethics and politics of drone use and consequently on their operations.
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