from the t800-confirmed-to-be-attending dept.
The U.N. has begun discussion on "lethal autonomous robots," killing machines which take the next step from our current drones which are operator controlled, to completely autonomous killing machines.
"Killer robots would threaten the most fundamental of rights and principles in international law," warned Steve Goose, arms division director at Human Rights Watch.
Are we too far down the rabbit hole, or can we come to reasonable and humane limits on this new world of death-by-algorithm?
Turkey is targeting the production of unmanned tanks for its armed forces, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated. "We will carry it a step further [after domestically produced unmanned aerial vehicles] ... We should reach the ability to produce unmanned tanks as well. We will do it," Erdoğan said at a meeting held at the presidential complex in Ankara on Feb. 21.
Five Turkish soldiers were recently killed in a tank near the Sheikh Haruz area of Syria's Afrin district, where Turkey has been carrying on a military operation against the People's Protection Units (YPG) since Jan. 20.
[...] The Turkish president has repeatedly criticized certain foreign countries for allegedly being reluctant to sell unmanned aerial vehicles, armed or unarmed, stressing that unmanned systems could decrease casualties.
Also at ABC.
Leading AI experts have boycotted a South Korean university over a partnership with weapons manufacturer Hanwha Systems. More than 50 AI researchers from 30 countries signed a letter expressing concern about its plans to develop artificial intelligence for weapons. In response, the university said it would not be developing "autonomous lethal weapons". The boycott comes ahead of a UN meeting to discuss killer robots.
Shin Sung-chul, president of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kaist), said: "I reaffirm once again that Kaist will not conduct any research activities counter to human dignity including autonomous weapons lacking meaningful human control. Kaist is significantly aware of ethical concerns in the application of all technologies including artificial intelligence." He went on to explain that the university's project was centred on developing algorithms for "efficient logistical systems, unmanned navigation and aviation training systems".
When a news article revealed that Clarifai was working with the Pentagon and some employees questioned the ethics of building artificial intelligence that analyzed video captured by drones, the company said the project would save the lives of civilians and soldiers.
"Clarifai's mission is to accelerate the progress of humanity with continually improving A.I.," read a blog post from Matt Zeiler, the company's founder and chief executive, and a prominent A.I. researcher. Later, in a news media interview, Mr. Zeiler announced a new management position that would ensure all company projects were ethically sound.
As activists, researchers, and journalists voice concerns over the rise of artificial intelligence, warning against biased, deceptive and malicious applications, the companies building this technology are responding. From tech giants like Google and Microsoft to scrappy A.I. start-ups, many are creating corporate principles meant to ensure their systems are designed and deployed in an ethical way. Some set up ethics officers or review boards to oversee these principles.
But tensions continue to rise as some question whether these promises will ultimately be kept. Companies can change course. Idealism can bow to financial pressure. Some activists — and even some companies — are beginning to argue that the only way to ensure ethical practices is through government regulation.
"We don't want to see a commercial race to the bottom," Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, said at the New Work Summit in Half Moon Bay, Calif., hosted last week by The New York Times. "Law is needed."
Possible != Probable. And the "needed law" could come in the form of a ban and/or surveillance of coding and hardware-building activities.
U.N. Starts Discussion on Lethal Autonomous Robots
UK Opposes "Killer Robot" Ban
Robot Weapons: What's the Harm?
The UK Government Urged to Establish an Artificial Intelligence Ethics Board
Google Employees on Pentagon AI Algorithms: "Google Should Not be in the Business of War"
South Korea's KAIST University Boycotted Over Alleged "Killer Robot" Partnership
About a Dozen Google Employees Have Resigned Over Project Maven
Google Drafting Ethics Policy for its Involvement in Military Projects
Google Will Not Continue Project Maven After Contract Expires in 2019
Uproar at Google after News of Censored China Search App Breaks
"Senior Google Scientist" Resigns over Chinese Search Engine Censorship Project
Google Suppresses Internal Memo About China Censorship; Eric Schmidt Predicts Internet Split
Leaked Transcript Contradicts Google's Denials About Censored Chinese Search Engine
Senators Demand Answers About Google+ Breach; Project Dragonfly Undermines Google's Neutrality
Google's Secret China Project "Effectively Ended" After Internal Confrontation
Microsoft Misrepresented HoloLens 2 Field of View, Faces Backlash for Military Contract