Stop the killer robots before it's too late!
April 27, 2013 11:50 AM Subscribe
Nobel laureate's campaign calls for pre-emptive ban on autonomous weapons.
posted by Sleeper (123 comments total)
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As our technology advances, it becomes more and more feasible to give more and more autonomy to our drones. A new campaign led by 1997 Nobel laureate Jody Williams
calls for an international ban on the design of autonomous weaponized drones.
The future often arrives from directions you didn't expect. Some sci-fi writers of the past expected Moon colonies and manned missions to Mars by now, but had no inkling that the world would be revolutionized by a global network of devices thousands of times more powerful than the room-sized computers of the day. We've both disappointed and exceeded expectations. Asimov's robots never came to be, but today flying robots that are (in different ways) both less and more ambitious are in the early stages of becoming a part of everyday life, mostly for imaging and surveillance.
The FAA currently bans commercial use of drones in the US, but that will soon change:
In five years, experts predict, more than 10,000 drones will be working overhead for American businesses. Some say the number might soar as high as 30,000. That’s a lot of cameras staring down, some with infrared imaging, swiveling to see ever more.
Every day advancements are made in the technology. As the machines become more weather-proof, with longer battery life, lighter, smaller, even bug-sized, the list of possible uses — and concerns — grows.
Drones have become an essential part of America's way of war.
an overwhelming reliance on killing terrorism suspects, which began in the administration of George W. Bush, has defined the Obama years. Since Mr. Obama took office, the C.I.A. and military have killed about 3,000 people in counterterrorist strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, mostly using drones. Only a handful have been caught and brought to this country; an unknown number have been imprisoned by other countries with intelligence and other support from the United States.
of the drone war in Pakistan, previously linked on the Blue)
This is all scary-sounding, but drones have many sensible and peaceful uses. Mesa County, Colorado recently cut the cost of an annual landfill survey from $10,000 to $200
by using a drone instead of a piloted craft.
We're not yet at a stage where automated weapons are feasible, but we will be within a couple decades. Should we ban them pre-emptively? Or is that just Luddite thinking?