Academics Urge That Killer Autonomous Robots Should Be Banned

Who even thought that machines could bring an existential threat to humanity? That a mere machine could stoke fear into human minds that are going to stay forever? Did it ever cross your mind that a computer could take human lives? Yes, you heard it right. Computers are now not only handling but also opting who to drone strike. Killer drones — or “slaughterbots” — are now conducting airstrikes without any humans involved, according to a recent UN report.

A team of researchers said in a guest post for IEEE Spectrum. “In so many words, the red line of autonomous targeting of humans has now been crossed,” The use of such deadly weapon systems is no less disturbing, according to them, should at once be ceased. All nations around the globe should show solidarity and sign a treaty to make sure these killer robots will never be used again.

A video was also released in 2017 to educate the world about the risks of AI and nuclear weapons by the Future of Life Institute, a non-profit organization endorsed by the authors of the IEEE Spectrum post.

“Beyond the moral issue of handing over decisions over life and death to algorithms, the video pointed out that autonomous weapons will, inevitably, turn into weapons of mass destruction, precisely because they require no human supervision and can therefore be deployed in vast numbers,” the team inscribed, which comprises of computer science and physics professors.

The international community, however, battled against the use of autonomous weapons systems rather than killer machines, involving a statement from the International Committee of the Red Cross calling for “a prohibition on autonomous weapon systems that are designed or used to apply force against persons.”

If anyone recollects, the Turkish-made STM Kargu-2 drones did the same. They were navigated to airstrike on Libya without any human hand involved, and it was predominantly outlined in the UN report back in March. A drone weighing only 14 pounds can be mass-produced and has the power to end lives by just using facial recognition software.

According to the report, drone systems like it “were programmed to attack targets without requiring data connectivity between the operator and the munition.”

I believe we still have time to put an end to these vicious killer robots or “slaughterbots” and get this stoking fear out of our lives forever.

“We want nothing more than for our ‘Slaughterbots’ video to become merely a historical reminder of a horrendous path not taken,” the team wrote in their post. “A mistake the human race could have made but didn’t.”

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