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posted by azrael on Thursday November 13 2014, @08:26AM   Printer-friendly
from the reverse-polarity dept.

A United Nations commission is meeting in Geneva, Switzerland today to begin discussions on placing controls on the development of weapons systems that can target and kill without the intervention of humans, the New York Times reports. The discussions come a year after a UN Human Rights Council report called for a ban (pdf) on “Lethal autonomous robotics” and as some scientists express concerns that artificially intelligent weapons could potentially make the wrong decisions about who to kill.

SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk recently called artificial intelligence potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons.

Peter Asaro, the cofounder of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC), told the Times, “Our concern is with how the targets are determined, and more importantly, who determines them—are these human-designated targets? Or are these systems automatically deciding what is a target?”

Intelligent weapons systems are intended to reduce the risk to both innocent bystanders and friendly troops, focusing their lethality on carefully—albeit artificially—chosen targets. The technology in development now could allow unmanned aircraft and missile systems to avoid and evade detection, identify a specific target from among a clutter of others, and destroy it without communicating with the humans who launched them.

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  • (Score: 2) by Magic Oddball on Friday November 14 2014, @10:09AM

    by Magic Oddball (3847) on Friday November 14 2014, @10:09AM (#115838) Journal

    The only questions: Will your government be a direct descendant of your current government? Will these weapons be under direct control of your government, or will they be controlled by a government that supports the existence of your country in exchange for something?

    I don't think those are (or should be) the only questions by a longshot.

    I see a much more crucial question as a civilian: will the weapons my government acquires be used elsewhere in the world in actual battles, elsewhere to subjugate inconvenient civilians, or will they be used domestically to subjugate our own civilians? Will the weapons be only available to the military, or will the National Guard be allowed to (ab)use them, or will it be like so much other military tech and end up in the hands of the same militarized police forces we already have good reason to fear?

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  • (Score: 1) by albert on Saturday November 15 2014, @08:21AM

    by albert (276) on Saturday November 15 2014, @08:21AM (#116157)

    Of course these weapons will be used.

    Either your current government (or protector government) does this, or it is replaced by one that does.

    I suppose it is possible to use these weapons only between nations instead of within a nation, but that seems unlikely.