The call to ban autonomous weapons grows louder

One more time!

I’m not big on banning things, unless they pose a public hazard. For example, when people drinking and driving became a problem, we had to ban it. Same for texting and driving. We do that to protect society at large.

Lately, however, there has been a vocal call by many (MANY) in the sciences, including over 1000 Artificial Intelligence researchers, developers and scientists, along with Steve Wozniak, Stephen Hawking, and Elon Musk, to ban autonomous weapons. Those are weapons that could seek out targets and kill them without the involvement of a human operator. They would, for all intents and purposes, be deciding who will live and who will die and doing it all on their own.

On the one hand, I’d love to see enormous, Pacific Rim-style robots stomping around, but for the spectacle more than anything else. As far as them being able to decide on their own who they’ll kill, that gives me significant pause. We have talked extensively about the shortcomings in AI, the problems with it, as well as the inherent flaws in the decision-making capabilities of people, let alone robots, something we’ll talk more about today (or already did talk about, depending on when you read this).

When it comes to life-and-death decisions, no machine should be in charge, whether it’s in a law-enforcement/military capacity, or a medical capacity, or anything else. A human always needs to be involved. Remember, machines don’t decide, and the REAL concern is they could decide that none of us deserve to live.

Let’s not forget the lessons learned from Skynet, or Evil Santa (or YouTube’s automated content filter):

UPDATE (Although the video is still working for me):

Hi IS301 at Nevada State College,

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Video title: Untitled
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Claimed by: FOX


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