The Dawn of the Killer Robots

June 6, 2014

robot- Atlas by Boston Dynamics

The other day I heard a great interview with John Whitehead, author of “A Government of Wolves” – a book I’m ordering today. Whitehead went into great detail about the new age of killer robots that is about to happen. Sure, we have flying drones that are killing people in the Middle East and Africa, but here’s what Whitehead says is on the horizon: Robots that will walk, communicate and kill on the battlefield. He talks about dragonfly drones that can shoot people and misquito drones that can land on you and either take some of your DNA or inject you with something. Robots that move like Panthers and can run you down. I mean, it’s the stuff nightmares are made of.
So this morning I’m surfing the fetid waves of the internet and found this article that fits right in with today’s killer robot theme:

From Business Insider

(Additional articles embedded in link)

The Moral Implications Of Robots That Kill
Dylan Love
Jun. 5, 2014

Lethal autonomous weapons — robots that can kill people without human intervention — aren’t yet on our battlefields, but the technology is right there.

As you can imagine, the killer robot issue is one that raises a number of concerns in the arenas of wartime strategy, morality, and philosophy. The hubbub is probably best summarized with this soundbite from The Washington Post: “Who is responsible when a fully autonomous robot kills an innocent? How can we allow a world where decisions over life and death are entirely mechanized?”

They are questions the United Nations is taking quite seriously, discussing them in-depth at a meeting last month. Nobel Peace Prize laureates Jody Williams, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and former South African President F.W. de Klerk are among a group calling for an outright ban on such technology, but others are skeptical about that method’s efficacy as there’s historical precedent that banning weapons is counterproductive:

While some experts want an outright ban, Ronald Arkin of the Georgia Institute of Technology pointed out that Pope Innocent II tried to ban the crossbow in 1139, and argued that it would be almost impossible to enforce such a ban. Much better, he argued, to develop these technologies in ways that might make war zones safer for non-combatants.

Arkin suggests that “if these robots are used illegally, the policymakers, soldiers, industrialists and, yes, scientists involved should be held accountable.” He’s quite literally suggesting that if a robot kills a person outside its rules or boundaries, the people involved in that robot’s creation are responsible, but here’s his hedge from a 2007 book called “Killer Robots”:

“It is not my belief that an unmanned system will be able to be perfectly ethical in the battlefield. But I am convinced that they can perform more ethically than human soldiers.”

This is one of several issues we’ll have to resolve as technology continues to develop like a runaway train.———————

We’re Fucked.

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One Response to The Dawn of the Killer Robots

  1. lowell on September 4, 2014 at 1:45 am

    Lord, save us from the white people and their evil machinations……

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