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Will Killer Robots Soon Roam The Earth?

November 22, 2012 by  

Will Killer Robots Soon Roam The Earth?

A report produced by Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic raises questions about technological strides in military weaponry that could lead to a global overabundance of autonomous killing machines.

The report “Losing Humanity” warns of “killer robots” and urges “an international treaty that would absolutely prohibit the development, production, and use of fully autonomous weapons.”

The advocacy groups discuss weapons that could have the ability to choose and fire on targets without human intervention in the report, arguing that accountability for mass casualties would be lessened in more extreme ways than it has with the advent of drone warfare.

“Giving machines the power to decide who lives and dies on the battlefield would take technology too far,” said Steve Goose, Arms Division director at Human Rights Watch. “Human control of robotic warfare is essential to minimizing civilian deaths and injuries.

Currently, fully autonomous weapons do not exist, and major global powers have not made a decision to deploy them. But the United States, China, Germany, Israel, South Korea, Russia and the United Kingdom are working to develop precursors that suggest a push toward greater autonomy for machines on the battlefield in the near future. According to the report, some experts predict that full autonomy for weapons could be achieved in 20 to 30 years; others think it will be even sooner.

The report suggests that the lack of potential for compassion in weapon-wielding autonomous robots could possibly make them a favorite weapon of tyrants who could use them against their own people.

“It is essential to stop the development of killer robots before they show up in national arsenals,” Goose said. “As countries become more invested in this technology, it will become harder to persuade them to give it up.”

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Buster the Anatolian

    Fully autonomous weapons is an idea whose time will most likely come sooner rather than later. We can only hope and pray that their deployment will be stopped by international treaty before they are put on active duty.

    • John Mitchell

      Treaties will not stop the development and deployment of these weapons. Neither would a sign “Please don’t open” pasted on Pandoras box prevent it from eventually being opened. A more intelligent option would be learning how to cope with the future as it arrives.

  • http://yahoo Glen

    Robocops of the near future. Yes, malfunctions should be a big concern. Also in the hands of the wrong people would be a disaster.

    • eddie47d

      First of all everyone has to take a hard look at the stupidity of wars.Second who is behind those wars and what is their motive. Then unless it is life and death for your family or country refuse to participate. We saw the precision hits during the Gulf War and I think most of us thought that was cool and a good way to fight a war. Hit the exact target avoid civilian casualties and then go home. Few American deaths and all is well,right? That is why I think these robots will be accepted no matter what the price tag. They (robots) will take the hit for the NWO Elites who start these CLEAN wars and no one will give a damn.

    • Toy

      They will always be, “in the hands of the wrong people”!

  • Harold Olsen

    I doubt very much that there will ever be robots, androids, whatever, that will take over the world. I do not care how good artificial intelligence gets, I doubt that it will be good enough that we’ll be able to create Datas or KITTs who will be able to think for themselves. They have to be programmed and I doubt they’ll be able to program themselves. You just can’t eliminate the human factor.

    • eddie47d

      I replied 2 hours ago and it was posted. I reckon the Holiday censorship police are taking a little longer than usual in bringing it back. .

  • JimH

    Sci-fi writers have been having fun with this kind of story for years.
    Humans ego wouldn’t allow an autonomus machine lose out on it’s own.
    For once maybe a big ego is a good thing.
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving.( the Cylons and Borg aren’t here yet)

  • NativeBlood

    Knocks on the door (lady answers and cautiously opens the door)
    Knocker asks: Sarah Connor?

  • Jamie Cameron

    I see Demolition of Robot as well and drones by the unseen Patriot Army’s in every corner of this Country. I hope they drop everyone of them. and stock pile at the parts.reuse the weapons against the real Foes.

  • Chester

    When humans first began exploring the idea of fully autonomous robots, fear of them running amok was always one of the big things looked at. Sounds like it is time for us to begin reading Asimov again, with his “Three laws of Robotics.” The first law was that no robot could kill a human being, the second law was that no robot could allow another robot to kill a human being, and the third law was that a robot would only allow its own death if that was necessary to prevent the death of a human being. We do need to think about these laws and their natural expansions and how to apply them to autonomous beings that are NOT classified as robots.

    • John Mitchell

      We can write whatever laws we like. Getting everyone to obey them is a different matter entirely. For example, prostitution is illegal in Bangkok Thailand, yet it is advertised in the phone books. Writing laws to stop people from killing each other with robots will be no more successful than writing laws to prevent people from killing each other with guns. Outlawing robots will be no more successful than outlawing guns, drugs, or weapons of mass destruction. We can condemn it but we cannot stop it.

  • FreedomFighter

    Will Killer Robots Soon Roam The Earth?

    They already do.

    They are tireless, creations without a soul, with only one purpose: KILL

    These killers operate without compassion, without fear of death, they are allready dead, givin artificial life — the perfect weapon.

    Best no power make them to smart, once they become to smart, they will stop taking orders.

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

  • Thomas

    Basically, they want to build a Cylon/Terminator. We saw (in sci-fi at least) how that worked out. Sci-fi offers us these morality tales and warnings for a reason. We need to pay attention to this.

    • John Mitchell

      Trying to stop robotic weapons is like trying to stop americas descent into socialism. It can’t be stopped. Instead we need to learn how to cope with it. Somethings in life will get scary and ugly but other things will get better. We will just have to accept the good and the bad and learn to make the most of it. Will living with killer robots on the prowl be much worse than living 47 million welfare recipients?

      A bigger problem that we will be faced with is when artificial intelligence and robots can completely replace humans for labor. The super wealthy won’t need to be burdened with an overabundance of whiny peasants and will then need to find a way to put them to use or get rid of them. Hmmm, how will they do that?

  • chuckb

    what do they need robots for? they have a nation full of humanoids, same difference. they both are programmed, one by technology the other by the education system and media.

    • T. Jefferson

      Already here, their called the TSA

  • T. Jefferson

    I want a model T-X


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