Monday, July 27, 2015

Sputnik — Kalashnikovs of Tomorrow: Musk, Hawking, Wozniak Fear Killer Robot Armies

Fears of artificial intelligence (AI) gone wrong prompted more than a thousand scholars and public figures - including theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak - to sign an open letter, cautioning that the autonomous weapons race is “a bad idea” and presents a major threat to humanity.

The letter, presented Monday at the International Joint Conference on AI in Buenos Aires by Future of Life Institute, warns about the high stakes of modern robotic systems that have reached a point at which they are to be feasible within just years, and that "a global arms race is virtually inevitable."
"This technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow," the letter states.

"Unlike nuclear weapons, they require no costly or hard-to-obtain raw materials, so they will become ubiquitous and cheap for all significant military powers to mass-produce. It will only be a matter of time until they appear on the black market and in the hands of terrorists, dictators wishing to better control their populace, warlords wishing to perpetrate ethnic cleansing, etc."

While AI may promise to be truly beneficial to humanity in many ways, it has to be kept under strict controls, and perhaps even banned, the letter suggests, while warning that lethal autonomous weapons systems — or more simply, killer robots — which engage targets without human intervention, are on par with various weapons of mass destruction…
Opening Pandora's box, or letting the genie out of the bottle?

Sputnik
Kalashnikovs of Tomorrow: Musk, Hawking, Wozniak Fear Killer Robot Armies

14 comments:

Matt Franko said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITTvgkO2Xw4

Bob said...

How long until Somali pirates come up with a countermeasure?

What a waste of time and money.

Matt Franko said...

Yeah right Bob! LOL! there's a real brain trust in Somalia for sure!

btw what is driving these technologies is the belief that the govt is "out of money!" ... and they don't want to have to pay the personnel with "money they don't have!"....

So they may be exhibiting technological prowess but how smart are they really?

Ryan Harris said...

The military surely thought of the fact that drones and other semi-automated weapons would be used by their adversaries as well. The military can't decide not to use the technology, because their refusal doesn't mean their adversaries won't use the technology, so as a matter of strategy and measures and counter measures, it is better to lead than to follow. The complex unintended consequences of human action that create the exact opposite desired outcome aren't unpredictable, they happen in all politics, including economics and the pseudo-sciences with great regularity.

Ryan Harris said...

There needs to be some sort of re-education facility that takes groups of people that think they are progressive or conservative and review their assumptions and attitudes to clarify where they are impure. I'm half joking, half serious, of course. The liberal/progressive embrace of radical environmental conservatism and market fundamentalism lead to neoliberalism. While the labor movement pushes for closing immigration and other conservative policies to promote their wall street investments.

Conservative adoption of lower taxes, larger deficits, economic freedom, open immigration policy, many of which were The Dick Cheney's ideas are some of the most liberal ideas used in US policy in decades.

The problem is we aren't like China, we can't send kids coming out of college to re-education camps, we can't force people to join the peace corp or americorps to work with the poor. Officials like Obama that have lost their way, will never go life with subsistence farmers, or as a community organizer in war torn South Chicago for a few years to get back in touch with their core values, he will become a billionaire that lives in the Hamptons or Manhattan....

Brian Romanchuk said...

Although one can imagine dystopian scenarios where these things would be useful, I seriously doubt that they are cheaper than troops. How fast was the United States able to churn out troops in World War II? Humans are adapted to moving through rough terrain, and to hide.

Being a billionaire does not make that you know squat about anything practical.

Bob said...

Ryan, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. But not in San Francisco... that was deliberate.

lastgreek said...

In the article there was only mention about killer robots and nothing about sex robots. Talk about getting priorities wrong. Bet the sex robots would not contravene the Geneva Conventions.


p.s. If you read this, it's because I have proved that I am not a robot ;)

Ignacio said...

Robots are awful at things that require dexterity, and navigating a battlefield requires a lot of dexterity.

'Combat-machines' are not more deadly than a howitzer with a bunch of 155mm shelling a residential area, or an aircraft loaded with a few GBU.

As for terrorism, as has been proven many times, if a terrorist is determined enough is not hard to kill dozens, hundreds or thousands of people with tools you could find a residential neighbourhood. I challenge any robot to do the same and not being disabled


A bomb is a 'robot' as it's an automated mechanism, the dangers already exist and we don't need scary movies by any MIC to fund them, and the worse part is that they cannot stop it. This is a battle that has to be won thought society (that thing that does not exist according to liberals) and economics.

MRW said...

btw what is driving these technologies is the belief that the govt is "out of money!" ... and they don't want to have to pay the personnel with "money they don't have!"....

Very astute observation. The hub of a 1,000 policy decisions and technological choices we're leaving to people who have no business making them.

MRW said...

Did anyone see the 18-year-old mechanical engineering student last week who mounted a gun on a drone and fired it. Police said it was legal.

Next big business? Bullet-proof blinds that emit electomagnetic jamming signals when they detect a drone within 50-100 feet.

A said...

massive swarms of tiny flying killer drones.

Bob said...

killer nanobots

Matt Franko said...

MRW I thought I read that they arrested that kid?

Maybe had to drop the charges?