Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

[Skynet Is Online] Terminators

Posted by Lex Fear on March 12, 2007

Prof. Prabhu Guptara blogs on the lack of discussion about the dangers of creating murderous machines.

“In any case, if my dear pet Jupiter is hacked into by my worst enemy and kills my best friend visiting me in my house, will it be I who am up for murder for not having my robot in my control…?” Renaissance: Insights for Action in Today’s World

I agree with Prof. Guptara that there desperately needs to be a debate on ethics, particularly in regards to anti-personnel robots being created to destroy and maim human life. Prof. Guptara quite rightly questions whether a killing machine would understand and “respond to pleas for mercy?”

Some other questions that could be asked:

  • How would a battle droid distinguish between innocents and combatants?
  • How would a battle droid recognise surrender?
  • What is the potential devastation that could be caused if a an evil genius managed to hack a small army of battle droids and deploy them to a major civilian area, or hold a government to hostage?
  • How would a battle droid handle a child soldier, how would it distinguish a toy-gun in a civilian situation?
  • What is the risk to human life if a bug got in the system?

20 years from now, if RoboJeevesTM develops a fault, your food is undercooked and your shirts are all crinkled, but nobody dies. If RoboMercinary develops a fault, suddenly Saturday afternoon at Bluewater turns into sniper alley!

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