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'Terminator Conundrum' Feared By Robotics Scientists As AI Arms Race Gets Heated

By Edge Ison , Feb 13, 2017 06:32 AM EST
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Anyone who has seen a Terminator film is familiar with Skynet and probably thought that such event can happen in real life. Don't worry. Even scientists are wary of the possible dangers of artificial intelligence.

According to a report by News Corp Australia's news and entertainment website, scientists in the field of robotics are worried that the race to weaponize and use artificial intelligence in the battlefield is becoming too serious. The United States is competing against Russia, China, and other countries to get the edge in the AI arms race.

China, for one, is reportedly in first place in the AI weaponry race taking over the U.S. side The Asian nation is already working on semi-autonomous missiles after the U.S. also claimed to be planning on the AI-integrated Long Range Anti-Ship Missile which is due in 2018.

Microsoft has made huge advancements in its AI research as its speech recognition technology has reached human parity. However, Chinese scientists working for Baidu beat Microsoft's achievement by two years when they successfully had their AI reach human-like recognition with the Chinese language.

Toby Walsh, a professor at UNSW's School of Computer Science and Engineering, pointed out that the arms race involving AI has already begun. Walsh addressed the United Nations a number of times already to convince everyone to create a governing body to prevent AI from being used in warfare. If Walsh and his colleagues' wishes are not granted, the world will soon have robot soldiers, autonomous robotic spies, and missiles that can decide on their own.

A number of fictional devices and concepts from sci-fi films have made it into the real world. There's instant messaging from "Pretty in Pink", the air touch technology in "Minority Report", and the robot vacuum in "The Jetsons". Star Trek has conceptualized a host of gadgets that now exist such as 3D printers, the flip phone-like Communicator, the Personal Access Display Device or the real world's iPad, and the Google Glass which is similar to the show's Virtual Display Device.

It remains to be seen if Skynet or something like that will soon exist in real-life but a lot of brilliant scientific minds, especially in the field of robotics, think that it is inevitable.

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