Technology keeps on pushing humanity’s limitation and surprises us with the many innovations that are possible with the right tools and technology in hand. We have seen it firsthand as to how consumer gadgets have proliferated over the past few decades. Virtually everyone now owns a smart gadget or two and even kids can very well navigate any screen, big or small. Even vintage gadgets are making comebacks but with a modern twist and people are still buying it. Yet, as thrilled and grateful as we are for the sheer comfort and convenience afforded to us by modern technology, it remains to be a flawed system that is full of loopholes, mysteries, and risks.
We have seen time and again where robots were depicted as the bad guys in many mainstream movies or series. The plot often reveals that these robots apparently learn how to think for themselves and became a tool for destruction rather than help uplift human lives. Now, there are people telling us this could also be our reality if scientists keep on pushing for tech innovations the human race is not yet ready to handle. Killer robots may eventually become our undoing – a Pandora’s box we won’t be able to close anymore no matter how badly we want to.
Scientists from around the world have called for the United Nations (UN) to take action to stop the proliferation of “killer robots”, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.
At the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Melbourne on Monday, technology leaders from around the world congregated at the event, first held in 1969, and requested that the development of weaponry using artificial intelligence be halted as “once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close.”
As part of this open letter to the UN, the scientists and business leaders, including world-renowned AI expert Toby Walsh, Elon Musk of Tesla, and James Chow of China’s UBTECH, called for the use of lethal autonomous weapons, or killer robots, to be outlawed much in the same way as chemical and biological weapons on the battlefield.
“Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend. These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations,” the letter said.
If there are individuals and groups making noise about this means there is perhaps a possibility of this becoming real or can even be happening already, albeit in secret labs that are already doing all sorts of experiments that will blow our minds. The problem is when these man-made creations are used against humanity. Will we be able to stop them from hurting innocent people? Probably, the answer is no. It’s the threat of the unknown that is even way scarier than the existence of these killer robots themselves.
Robotics and artificial intelligence pioneers have called on the United Nations to ban killer robots, warning of conflicts on an unprecedented scale if an arms race to build autonomous weapons continues.
The founders of 116 technology companies, including Tesla’s Elon Musk and Google DeepMind’s Mustafa Suleyman, signed an open letter warning that lethal autonomous weapons would create a “third revolution” in warfare, following the invention of gunpowder and the atomic bomb.
The group is urging the UN to add autonomous systems to a list of “morally wrong” weapons that includes chemical weapons, blinding lasers and white phosphorus munitions.
The people who have been openly criticizing the development and eventual use of killer robots are not just ordinary citizens who know nothing about the technology but renowned entrepreneurs who have invested and worked heavily in the same industry that is now harnessing technological advancements to animate robots that may soon wipe out our very existence even with just one simple mistake. People like Elon Musk are just on the side of caution and don’t want to compromise our health, safety, and lives by meddling with things we know so little about. For sure they aren’t getting in the way of progress. They just want to protect humanity from things we could never be prepared for in the years to come.