Yesterday we reported that Ghost Robotics, a military hardware company, had unveiled a robodog equipped with sniper rifles.
Experts are now speaking out against the heavily-armed robotdog. They claim that this is an inflection point in developing killer robots. This should provide an opportunity for us to reexamine whether or not the technology should be allowed.
Toby Walsh, UNSW Sydney AI professor, said that this crosses a moral and legal line and takes us to a dangerous and dark world. These weapons will be used to terrorize and destabilize rogue countries. These weapons will be used to terrorize.
Walsh pointed out that, while it is not clear how much autonomy Ghosts Robodog has currently, the lines between deadly drones controlled and autonomously killing machines are blurring. He cited as an example an incident last November in which an AI-assisted robot gun was used by Israeli operatives to kill an Iranian scientist.
It is my hope that it will add urgency to the UN's ongoing discussions to regulate this space and calm those voices saying the technology remains a long way away, Walsh stated, referring to Ghosts robotdog. It's not.
Stuart Russell, a University of California Berkeley computer scientist, stated that he has seen overwhelmingly negative reactions to the armed robotdog online.
Russell stated that the vast majority of Twitter responses to Russell's announcement were of the hope-you-burn in hell variety. Because normal people know that it is bad to allow machines to kill humans, this is why there are so many responses to Russell's announcement on Twitter. One response said that Terminator was a warning and not a manual.
Kelsey Atherton explained that the rifle-equipped robotdog was a Q-UGV model. Our sister publication Popular Science also wrote a detailed breakdown. The firearm was manufactured by SWORD International and has a range 3,900 feet.
Ghost also has an advantage over Boston Dynamics, which has impressed the world with technical demonstrations, but has publicly committed not to arm its robots. Boston Dynamics was actually very upset when artists attached a paintball gun on one of its Spot robotdogs. This is a robodog that is almost identical in size and function as Ghosts Q-UGV.
The Ghost prototype did not alarm everyone. Michael Horowitz, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, said that the robodog was similar to an armed drone used by many international militaries.
Horowitz stated that, although the system is controlled remotely by humans, other countries have also developed remotely-piloted, armed robotic ground systems. This system does not raise any ethical issues beyond those raised by any remotely piloted system. To be certain, I'd need to learn more about the system.
Ghost Robotics: More Details
Do you care about clean energy adoption? Learn how much money and planet you could save by switching to solar power at UnderstandSolar.com. UnderstandSolar.com can show you how much money and planet you could save by switching over to solar power. Futurism.com might earn a small commission if you sign up via this link.