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Roshawn Terrell is a machine learning and AI researcher for Ethicsnet.com. He studies neuroscience, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence. He is a guest-lecturer at Oxford, where he will be leading a research team to look into applying his and colleague's findings to building more sophisticated artificial intelligence.
If we don’t invent a legal framework for space colonisation the consequences could be catastrophic: the time to act is now.
Listen to Marko Kovic talk about why we need to develop laws and regulations to govern interactions in space.
This may seem like an unimportant issue, but technology is advancing rapidly, and we soon may found ourselves with human colonies out in space and on other planets such as Mars. If colonies form, and they decide they want to separate from the US and become their own country—much like the British colonies in the Americas decided to separate—what's to stop them from doing so? And what's to stop us or any other country sending its military out into space to subdue these colonies?
Surely there are laws and institutions that regulate what can and cannot happen during space colonisation? Surely uncertainty, lawlessness and chaos in the matter of expansion and colonisation are spectres of the past, not the modus operandi of our future expansion into space?The answer is no. There is no meaningful space-colonisation governance framework to speak of. As of now, in 2018, space colonisation is a veritable free-for-all.