They want the UN to impose the Prime Directive? That horse has bolted some time ago

In a letter, 116 experts in artificial intelligence and technology leaders – including the billionaire co-founder and chief executive of Tesla, Elon Musk and Mustafa Suleyman, Google’s DeepMind co-founder – warned of “a third revolution in warfare”.

A killer robot is a fully autonomous weapon that can select and engage targets without human intervention. They do not currently exist but advances in technology are bringing them closer to reality.

Those in favour of killer robots believe the current laws of war may be sufficient to address any problems that might emerge if they are ever deployed, arguing that a moratorium, not an outright ban, should be called for if this is not the case.

However, those who oppose their use believe they are a threat to humanity and any autonomous “kill functions” should be banned.

People who think these robotic killing devices don’t already exist are deluded.  And at some point, of course, you will also need robotic counter-measures.   Cue Terminator – the prequel.

“These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways.”

“Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close.”

There is an urgent tone to the message from the technology leaders, who warn that “we do not have long to act”.

Experts are calling for the technology they describe as “morally wrong” to be added to the list of weapons banned under the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW).

A UN group focusing on autonomous weaponry was scheduled to meet on Monday, but the meeting has been postponed until November according to the group’s website.

A potential ban on the development of “killer robot” technology has previously been discussed by UN committees.

We are way past the point of no return.

No doubt there will be legislation requiring there to be some human oversight and control for a considerable amount of time.   But you just know that too will be ignored for “surveillance” and “defensive” units.

Our children’s children will live in interesting times.

 

– RNZ

 


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