Killer Robots: Will They Soon Replace Human Judgement?

shockleewebpic_killerbotsThe development of robotic technology is happening at a tremendous pace. In other words, the RoboCop concept is not so sci-fi anymore. This past December, DARPA held a robotics challenge in Miami, Florida that showcased 16 teams from around the world, a few of which are now owned by Google. Eight robotics companies have been acquired by Google recently and they are becoming part of a new mysterious new division which seems to be working to develop future tech projects. Now, whether these are for private or military purposes remains to be seen but as you can guess it might be a bit of both. Google also recently purchased a 350,000-square-foot hangar originally built for the U.S. Navy.

So what’s the plan with the robots? The developments are leading us to autonomous weapons systems and also to disaster recovery or human assistance applications, like for instance, exoskeletons that can greatly improve the lives of the disabled. But it’s a thin line between making great strides in helping people in rescue and emergency situations and fleets of robots for war applications that can react in seconds and be super efficient killing machines. It is expected that in the next few years robots will have the capacity to make decisions and judgement calls – and this – without human supervision can have devastating, world changing implications.

There are some experts in the field like Mark Gubrud featured in a great mini documentary below by the Verge, the International Committee for Robot Arms Control [ICRAC] and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, that are out to put a stop to these autonomous robots and bring attention to all of this.

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