Science

Killer Robots: United Nations To Ban Weaponized AI

By Allan Alforte , Dec 27, 2016 03:24 AM EST
WATCH RELATED VIDEO
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - OCTOBER 26: A robot brings back the detonator of a roadside bomb, also known as an improvised explosive device (IED), to clear it from the streets October 26, 2005 in Baghdad, Iraq. American military deaths in Iraq have now surpassed 2,000, and insurgent IED's are the number one cause of U.S. casualties in the war. The 717th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company (EOD), based in Camp Liberty near the Baghdad Airport primarily uses remote controlled robots called Talons to dismantle the bombs from a safe distance. (Photo : John Moore/Getty Images)

Humans have been in a constant state of war with relatively brief periods of peace. The belligerent forces with the most advanced weapons have often proved to be victors.

In modern warfare, ground combat often involves heavy fighting in an urban landscape instead of open fields. For the past two decades, the war in the Middle East guerrilla warfare proved that a new breed of weapons has to be developed to cut down the costs on human lives.

Thanks to Moore's Law, humans now have the capacity of manufacturing machines with sophisticated artificial intelligence that are capable of thought processes, decision making and taking independent actions. Enter the age of unmanned drones and killer robots.

Militaries around the world have already made significant progress in the development of artificial intelligence technology and its application in modern warfare. The United States leads in weaponized robotic use.

In 2013, the UN Institute for Disarmament Researched had been the first international body to produce several resources that frame complex issues with regards to LAWS.

In recent events at the International Convention on Conventional Weapons, 123 participating nations agreed to initiate discussions on lethal autonomous weapons systems as was reported in an article by Live Science.

The introduction of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) has raised many ethics and human values concerns. These killer robots are capable and could potentially identify and attack targets without any human intervention as was reported in an article by Human Rights Watch, Losing Humanity: The Case Of The Killer Robots.

Stephen Goose, the arms director at Human Rights Watch, stated that the UN's call for formal discussion on the issue of LAWS in 2017 is of significant importance. Formal high level deliberation on the issue will be a significant step forward, Goose went on to say.

Industry leaders and scientists are unified in voicing their concerns about this particular platform of weaponry. Aside from the inherent dangers of these robots going rogue, there is a potential for a robotic arms race.

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