Rise of robotic killing machines has a cautious world talking

“The United Nations panel of experts would not have assembled for a second time in as many years if the battlefield use of thinking, man-killing robots were not at hand. The panel would not have called for a moratorium last year on what does not yet exist if artificially intelligent war weapons did not loom above us like a thunderhead…None of the industrial nations admits having a LAW (Lethal Autonomous Weapon), but there’s really no way to confirm the nonexistence of a weapon that would be classified as secret…The Geneva discussion as a whole centered on the irony-laced task of conducting a humanitarian war: making it less terrible. Speakers and panel members struggled with the mutually exclusive terms, humanitarian and war. This is nothing new…Will lethal autonomous weapons increase the suffering? Of course they will. We are not discussing euthanasia. Yet. Will they, at times, kill in error? Naturally. Is mass murder a possible outcome? Certainly. Is it rational to try to establish a scale of how much suffering is acceptable to the CCW? No, that wouldn’t be rational; it would more aptly apply to an inhuman, or robotic, algorithm. Will artificial intelligence evolve into a force truly independent of its human creator? That is inevitable, and it’s an inevitability that noted physicist Stephen Hawking, in a 2014 discussion with BBC, found chilling…They will streamline war, feed the economy and remove humans from a battlefield that has grown so grim that 22 American war veterans commit suicide each day. They will remove a nightmare that, in 2012, drove one active-duty soldier to suicide every other day. In short, LAWs will carry on a proxy war that man is no longer psychologically able to fight. What on Earth would be the point of that?”

Rise of robotic killing machines has a cautious world talking.


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