Robot army ban: Famous personalities join growing list of opponents to military robots

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin looks at a human-like combat robot during a visit to the Central Research Institute for Precision Machine (“Tochmash”) in Klimovsk, outside Moscow, January 20, 2015. (Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Reuters)

“Terminator: Genisys” has been shown in theatres but it seems that the issues it has raised is not easily forgotten.

Amid growing support for autonomous weapons, a list of people against military robots is growing, according to NY Times. The list includes personalities such as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, as well as hundreds of specialists involved in artificial intelligence research. If the militarization is not stopped, they are looking at a scenario not far from the events of “Terminator.”

The said personalities sent a letter addressed to the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires. The signatories are worried about military robots being available “within years, not decades.” The development of these will put them in danger of ending up with terrorists and renegade warlords.

The proponents of these robots says that human lives will be saved once these robots are activated. With the autonomy of such drones, targets can be eliminated at the entry of a code or the click of a button. However, while human lives are protected, the moral cost of going to war is lessened with expendable robots doing the job for human societies—or terrorist cells.

With a list of people like Steve Wozniak, Noam Chomsky, and Demis Hassabis, the UN was certain to have learned about it and is working on banning them as well.

This report from Forbes further fuels the hope that autonomous weapons of war won’t be made available–ever. UN’s CCW has been appealed to start discussions about the possibility of countries making and deploying these weapons and the vote appears to be leaning on “not a chance.”

According to the article, Thomas Nash of Article 36 is positive that the ban on killer robots will happen. “The Convention doesn’t often add concerns to its agenda,” he says, and when it does, new international rules are applied. He believes that the new rules would be the enforcing of the ban.

While robots could become potentially harmful, they do have the potential to help and be used for the good of mankind. There is the possibility of sending robots into areas which would be harmful to humans—an event that is already ongoing with the probes in deep space.

Source: Robot army ban: Famous personalities join growing list of opponents to military robots

Via: Google Alerts for AI