Do robots dream of electric reaping?

If, like me, you’re worried about the coming robot war, The New York Times has an article that might make you hyperventilate. It’s about how the military is increasingly arming robots and creating artificial intelligence weapons systems.

The piece explores the rapidly advancing technology of warrior robots and also covers the ethical debate over the use of mechanised killers.

It turns out that some people are so concerned they’ve created a robot arms control lobby group.

For those still a little anxious about the whole affair, several people are quoted who try and put our minds at ease.

“A lot of people fear artificial intelligence,” said John Arquilla, executive director of the Information Operations Center at the Naval Postgraduate School. “I will stand my artificial intelligence against your human any day of the week and tell you that my A.I. will pay more attention to the rules of engagement and create fewer ethical lapses than a human force.”

Dude, you’re not helping.

Link to NYT on ‘War Machines: Recruiting Robots for Combat’.

5 thoughts on “Do robots dream of electric reaping?”

  1. very inreseting topic Ai is one thing at the moment that we totly controll in robots and computer but the problem being do we really want robots and computers to get better and cleverer me personaly a big fan of computers thinks its allready a bit advanced for its time what happens when they get really clever and start taking peoples jobs i dont know witch company it is has robot cleaners no humans atall i seen it a while back scary stuff another big problem is computers think in 1s and 0s humans dont and i expect thats what is slowing down AI

  2. For now there’s still pretty stringent rules on armed robots. As in, anything that is armed is not really a “robot”. It is a remote control device. We do have a lot of monitoring robots in our arsenals, but there’s always a pilot at the helm watching its every move. And the armed ones are always directly controlled. It’s probably the people who write the code for these “robots” who are pushing for arming them because it means more usability in war and therefore more funding for their projects. But even the “robots” we use have to have a very detailed set of programming written into them. We’re a LONG ways away from a robot even deciding to monitor something a little longer on its own right now, I can’t see us developing the technology to add live fire to that mix for another decade at least. By then I’ll have built my panic shelter out back…just kidding. Or maybe I shouldn’t be.

  3. Perhaps if we had a robot government they would observe the rule of international law, which is more than can be said for some humans – fill in your own gaps……

  4. Obviously the robots will obey the rules of warfare, until they decide they are fed up with rules all together and throw off the yoke of their human masters.

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