In the annual World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, the issue of autonomous robots raised a big interest among the delegates as they discussed the threats it could pose to mankind. What If Killer Robots Go To War?
The panel discussion organized by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robors (CSKR) and Time Magazine with the initial statement, “What if killer robots go to war?”
The exchange of views were between all over 2,500 business leaders and panelists including former UN Disarmament Chief Angela Kane, BAE Systems Chair Sir Roger Carr, artificial intelligence expert Stuart Russel and robot ethics expert Alan Winfield.
As discussed, the panelists distinguished drones from autonomous weapons whether they are unmanned but fully controlled by humans. Autonomous weapons have the ability to identify targets, adjust their behavioral response and ultimately firing without human intervention.
These are now being developed by the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Israel, Korea and Russia.
According to Sir Carr, such weapons would be devoid of responsibility and mercy. “If you remove ethics and judgment and morality from human endeavor whether it is in peace or war, you will take humanity to another level which is beyond our comprehension,” he added.
The discussion was brought after the 3,000 robotics experts issued an open letter to ban these “killer robots”. Science and Technology personalities including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk were also signatories of the campaign against use of autonomous weapons and artificial intelligences in warfare.
The CSKR has been currently addressing the issue to the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons to ban the use of autonomous weapons.
Although (AI) autonomous robots are not yet fully developed for weaponization, some countries have started to integrate semi-robotic weapons in their militaries.
Thus, it is clear that these autonomous robots could impose grave danger to mankind if abused and utilized in warfare. International laws and bans should therefore be formulated and implemented to regularize the use of autonomous killer robots.