As the power of artificial intelligence grows, the likelihood of a future war filled with killer robots grows as well. Proponents suggest that lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWs) might cause less "collateral damage," while critics warn that giving machines the power of life and death would be a terrible mistake. Last month's UN meeting on'killer robots' in Geneva ended with victory for the machines, as a small number of countries blocked progress towards an international ban. Some opponents of such a ban, like Russia and Israel, were to be expected since both nations already have advanced military AI programs. But surprisingly, the U.S. also agreed with them.
An army of'killer robots' that will assist infantry on the battlefield has been unveiled in propaganda footage released by Russia The video, released by the Kremlin, appears to showcase the state's latest drone technology. That includes and AI-controlled driverless tank that follow the aim of a soldier's rifle to obliterate targets with its own weaponry. Russia's Advanced Research Foundation (ARF) said the ultimate goal is to have an army of robots entirely controlled by Artificial Intelligence algorithms. Currently the drones are deployed alongside infantry who remotely control the vehicles, but in the future the tech will be fully autonomous. That means the military hardware will be able to target and kill enemies without any human intervention.
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) is coming into its own, it is creating a significant impact in our everyday lives. The use of AI in self-driving cars, industrial mechanics, space exploration and robotics are some of the examples that show how it is paving its path into the future. But the technology has also found its way into the defense industry leading to a worrisome increase in the manufacture of autonomous weapons. The so-called "thinking weapons" were described by the Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a 2016 presentation at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in the U.S. State Department of Defense. But robotic systems to do lethal harm… a Terminator without a conscience," he said while referring to the 1984 cult science fiction film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, "Terminator."
This is a guest post. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not represent positions of IEEE Spectrum or the IEEE. Killer robots pose a threat to all of us. In the movies, this threat is usually personified as an evil machine bent on destroying humanity for reasons of its own. In reality, the threat comes from within us.
With technology evolving at a fast pace, we have come a long way from the basic computers to presently using artificial intelligence in modern human warfare. In the current scenario of the world, it wouldn't be wrong to say that the country with the best technology intelligence and machines will be the strongest during the war. The era hasn't yet reached up till the dystopian future involving robocops, hammer drones or the Terminator. Instead, AI is being used to acquire better insights and make better decisions. Although we definitely cannot disregard the fact that artificial intelligence can be more dangerous than nuclear warheads, as once stated by Elon Musk.