29 July 2015

Editorial: Is a Killer Robot Arms Race Inevitable?

Image: Flicke User - Insomnia Cured Here
By Franz-Stefan Gady

Leading robotics researches call for a ban of offensive autonomous weapons in an open letter.

Research into designing and producing autonomous weapon systems is soaring in the U.S. military. For example, the U.S. Navy is trying to figure out how to successfully launch a whole swarm of tiny autonomous drones in order to assault an adversary with a cloud of cheap and disposable UAVs and paralyze defenses by the sheer quantity of unmanned attackers in the air.

Last week (See: “Super Humans and Killer Robots: How the US Army Envisions Warfare in 2050”), I reported on the finding of U.S. Army-sponsored workshop on the future of land warfare that concluded that a new breed of super humans and autonomous combat robots will be two of the key features of the battlefield in 2050.

Now, over 1,000 artificial intelligence and robotics researchers, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Google DeepMind chief executive Demis Hassabis and professor Stephen Hawking among them, have signed an open letter that calls for ban of “offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control.”

Read the full story at The Diplomat