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Thu May 2, 2013, 07:16 AM

'The Point of No Return': Should Robots Be Able to Decide to Kill You On Their Own?


U.S. military using high-tech Predator drones.

'The Point of No Return': Should Robots Be Able to Decide to Kill You On Their Own?
By John Knefel
April 30, 2013 3:10 PM ET

A U.N. report released earlier this week called for a global moratorium on developing highly sophisticated robots that can select and kill targets without a human being directly issuing a command. These machines, known as Lethal Autonomous Robots (LARs), may sound like science fiction but experts increasingly believe some version of them could be created in the near future. The report, released by Professor Chrisof Heyns, U.N. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, also calls for the creation of "a high level panel on LARs to articulate a policy for the international community on the issue."

The U.S. Department of Defense issued a directive on the subject last year, which the U.N. report says "bans the development and fielding of LARs unless certain procedures are followed" although DoD officials have called the directive "flexible."

Unlike groups like Human Rights Watch which has called for an all-out ban on LARs the U.N. report suggests a pause on their development and deployment, while acknowledging the uncertainty of future technologies. "The danger is we are going to realize one day we have passed the point of no return," Heyns tells Rolling Stone. "It is very difficult to get states to abandon weaponry once developed, especially when it is so sophisticated and offers so many military advantages. I am not necessarily saying LARs should never be used, but I think we need to understand it much better before we cross that threshold, and we must make sure that humans retain meaningful control over life and death decisions."

Others who follow the subject echo these concerns. "I believe (LARs are) a paradigm shift because it fundamentally changes the requirements for human responsibility in making decisions to kill," says Peter Asaro, co-founder and vice chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control. "As such, it threatens to create automated systems that could deny us of our basic human rights, without human supervision or oversight."

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Reply 'The Point of No Return': Should Robots Be Able to Decide to Kill You On Their Own? (Original post)
unhappycamper May 2013 OP
egold2604 May 2013 #1

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 07:31 AM

1. The First Law of Robotics will not allow this

Everyone knows that the First law of Robotics will prevent a robot from killing a human. We are all safe from this.

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