Stop Killer Robots: An interview with AI expert Mark Bishop


Artificial intelligence expert Mark Bishop says a ban on weapons that can deploy and destroy without human intervention is vital. He is a professor of cognitive computing at Goldsmiths, University of London, and chairs the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behavior.

What is the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots?

MB: It is a confederation of non-governmental organizations and pressure groups lobbying for a ban on producing and deploying fully autonomous weapon systems, where the ability of a human to both choose the precise target and intervene in the final decision to attack is removed.

How close are we to this?

MB: Examples already exist. Some, such as the Phalanx gun system, used on the majority of U.S. Navy ships to detect and automatically engage incoming threats, have been around for some time. Another is the Israeli Harpy “fire-and-forget” unmanned aerial vehicle, which will seek out and destroy radar installations.

What’s driving the technology’s development?

MB: Current Western military strategy focuses more on drones than on traditional forces, but remote-controlled drones are vulnerable to hijacking. Fully autonomous systems are virtually immune to this. They also lower costs. This means manufacturers sell more, so there is a commercial imperative to develop autonomous systems and for governments to deploy them.

What are the dangers?

MB: There are reasons to doubt whether autonomous systems can appropriately judge the need to engage, react to threats proportionately, or reliably discriminate between combatants and civilians. Also, when you get complex software systems interacting, there is huge potential for unforeseen consequences.

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Human rights group: ‘Killer robots’ should be banned

The use of autonomous drones – “killer robots” that could fire weapons with no human control – must be prohibited by international treaty, human rights campaigners and lawyers have said.

Weapons being developed that could choose and attack targets without human intervention should be pre-emptively banned because of the danger they would pose to civilians in armed conflict, they said.

Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots, a 50-page report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), warns that fully autonomous weapons would lack human qualities that provide legal and non-legal checks on the killing of civilians.

“Giving machines the power to decide who lives and dies on the battlefield would take technology too far,” said Steve Goose, the HRW arms division director. “Human control of robotic warfare is essential to minimising civilian deaths and injuries.”

The New York-based campaign group said its report was based on extensive research into the law, technology, and ethics of the proposed weapons. It was published jointly with Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic.

They called for an international treaty, backed by national legislation, which would prohibit absolutely the development, production, and use of fully autonomous weapons.

Fully autonomous weapons would be unable to distinguish adequately between soldiers and civilians on the battlefield or apply the human judgment necessary to evaluate the proportionality of an attack – whether civilian harm outweighs military advantage.

The robots would also undermine non-legal checks on the killing of civilians, the report warns. Fully autonomous weapons could not show human compassion for their victims, and autocrats could abuse them by directing them against their own people.

Forget the Rise of the Police State. It’s the Rise of the Terminator State.

By Julie Mitchell

Forget the Rise of the Police State. It’s the Rise of the Terminator State.

On February 14, 2012, President “Barack Obama” signed into law the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization and Reform Act, a law which, in section 332, requires “the safe integration of civil unmanned aircraft, [i.e. drones], into the national airspace system as soon as practicable. Subsequent to the passage of that bill they have clearly decided to adopt the “as soon as practicable” approach, as these unmanned drones have for the past several months since been photographed and filmed hovering and flying in various parts of the country.

Meanwhile, the internet air waves are exploding with citizen activists protesting the implementation of drone technology in U.S. airspace, and the only objection to be raised among the MSM media outlets is the insipid and perpetual comment repeated almost verbatim among all of them that “privacy advocates fear” they may ultimately be used in violation of the privacy rights, which is in reality a non-existent concept, that the vast majority of Americans are still suffering from the misconception that they actually possess.

These weapons originated with the military, and the assumption that they were designed to serve any purpose other than that which benefits and facilitates war and the activities thereof is essentially baseless.

The cover of the August 2012 issue of Popular Science features the prototype of a new “robotic” drone, and it is referred to on the cover of that publication as “the world’s first robotic strike craft.” The X-47B, as it is referred to, is described as the “world’s first autonomous warplane.It is specifically designed to eliminate the need for human intervention. Living in a world in which such things are utilized to the utter detriment and control of the human race should not be that difficult to imagine for many Americans. If it is, visit Netflix and watch the “Terminator” movies. That will give you a clear idea of the direction this is heading.

Original Article Here