Campaign to ban killer robots achieves success at UN
Paul Joseph Watson
November 28, 2013
Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Noel Sharkey warns that autonomous robots armed with tasers may soon be used for crowd control purposes.
Sharkey chairs The International Committee for Robot Arms Control, a group which is seeking to achieve an international ban on robots that can act autonomously and kill humans.
“There’s certainly talk of arming robots with tasers,” Sharkey told the Alex Jones Show, adding, “but tasers are kind of deadly – 150 people died in the U.S. within a period of two years from taser abuse, so if you start arming robots with tasers then I think it’s only a short step to arming them with lethal weapons.”
Sharkey said that his organization had enjoyed recent success at the United Nations with French and American delegations in moving to prohibit armed autonomous robots by putting forward the issue as a mandate for discussion at the UN.
“There was a massive discussion and they accepted the mandate so next year the CCW committee (Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons) are setting up an expert workshop to take this on board and discuss it,” said Sharkey.
Sharkey has predicted that within the next 30 years, “Humanoid walking robots would be more in use for crowd control at games, strikes and riots. Robots will patrol city centres and trouble spots where fights are likely to break out.”
The professor sees the drones being used to run checkpoints, check IDs and make arrests with the aid of “non-lethal” weapons.
DARPA has already announced the creation of a robotic drone that looks human, with the construction of PETMAN by Boston Dynamics. Sharkey described the DARPA robots as “an incredible technical achievement, but it’s unfortunate that it’s going to be used to kill people.”
In a 50-page report published last year, Human Rights Watch also warned that artificially intelligent robots let loose on the battlefield would inevitably commit war crimes.
Former intelligence officer Lt. Col. Douglas Pryer, also wrote an essay warning of the threat posed by remorseless “killer robots” that will be used to stalk and slaughter human targets in the near future.
Last year, experts at the prestigious University of Cambridge announced a project to conduct research into the “extinction-level risks” posed to humanity by artificially intelligent robots.
Flying drones that communicate with each other are now being developed for “hunting terrorists” and other “homeland security” purposes, as well as UAVs that could one day snatch humans off the street.
The Pentagon is currently developing robots with “real brains” that would enable them to think independently and act autonomously. DARPA’s LS3 robot is already able to autonomously track humans over rugged terrain.
Robot drones that are capable of killing intruders have already been operational along the South Korean border for years.