Much controversy has surrounded the use of remote-controlled drone aircraft or “unmanned aerial vehicles” in the war on terror. But another, still more awe-inducing possibility has emerged: taking human beings out of the decision loop altogether. Emerging brain science could take us there.
Today drone pilots operate thousands of miles away from the battlefield. They must manage vast amounts of data and video images during exceptionally intense workdays. They are scrutinized by superiors for signs of stress, and to reduce such stress the Air Force is attempting shift changes, less physical isolation on the job, and more opportunities for rest.
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