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Autonomous Lethal Robots -as-a-Service?

Posted by Calvin Bradshaw on 17 Jun 2015, 11:22:00

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With the upcoming release of the new "Terminator" movie, I thought I would share some thoughts I had on a topic that had come to my attention recently: Autonomous Lethal Robots.

Now I don't mean to alarm anyone, but Google (you know, the company known for letting creativity fly and not restraining development);

1. Owns a company that has created some “spectacular and terrifying robots” !

2. Has one of the most developed “AI and Machine learning” research areas, and

3. Was just awarded a patent(!) for “allocating tasks to a plurality of robotic devices”….in other words, the ability to create a network to control a robot army!

What could possibly go wrong

Oh yeah, there is also a company in Japan that builds robotic exoskeleton suits. That company is called Cyberdyne Systems. Yes, really.  But that's OK, the suits are used for good, not evil. Supposedly.*

In all seriousness, Google is possibly not the biggest worry right now, but the technology is real.

So, should we be concerned?  Should we "Campaign to Stop the Killer Robots?" (

Here is some further reading for those interested;

Robotics: Ethics of artificial intelligence (Nature Vol 521, Issue 7553,  May 27, 2015)  
Do Killer Robots Violate Human Rights? (Patrick Lin, April 20, 2015)
The Guardian view on robots as weapons: the human factor (Editorial, April 14, 2015)

I am also keen to get time to read;

Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots (2009) (Ronald C. Arkin, 2009)

*Note my comment regarding Cyberdyne Inc, 'supposedly using these suits for good not evil' is in jest only, and I am not wanting to take anything away from Cyberdyne, it looks like a great company, headed by a true visionary, Dr. Sankai (CEO) - a company that is making a real difference for people with mobility disabilities. Well done to Dr Sankai and the whole Cyberdyne team -- just one thing guys, can you please rename your office WiFi to something other than "Skynet"?  Thanks.

Topics: Gadgets, Internet, Global domination

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