Future of Life Institute released a video entitled “Slaughterbots” at a United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons in Geneva earlier this month. It depicts and warns the people of the dangers of killer drones that are equipped with artificial intelligence.
The Future of Life Institute is a non-profit organization that is established by a group of scientists and business leaders. It aims to mitigate the risk generated by advanced technologies that include artificial intelligence. It is also supported by Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, among others, according to Fox News.
“Slaughterbots” features weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles that are extremely dangerous. They could be hacked and controlled by people who want to do harm to others.
In the video, the speaker demonstrated a drone that is about the size of a Mockingbird. Then, it lands in the speaker’s hands and he throws the drone out into the audience in the conference. The drone changes its course and turns back to the stage and smashes into the forehead of a dummy that was placed to the left of the stage. This shows that this small drone could destroy the human’s skull.
The speaker said that the drones are trained as a team. They could access the buildings, trains, and cars while having the capacity to evade any countermeasure. He added that they could not be stopped. He also noted that “a $25 million order” could buy a swarm of such tiny “slaughterbots” that could exterminate half of the city.
Stuart Russell, professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley and pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, said that this short film is more than just speculation. He further said that even though A.I.’s potential to benefit humanity is enormous, including defense, allowing the widespread use of machines that choose to kill humans will be devastating to human’s security and freedom. He added that the video shows the results of integrating and miniaturizing technologies that humans already have.
Space reports that the seven-minute video is hosted by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots that will host other series of meetings this year. It aims to promote a ban on lethal autonomous weapons all around the world. These weapons include flying drones, automated sentry guns, and self-driving tanks. It is also assumed that military groups worldwide are developing these weapons equipped with artificial intelligence. The advocates of banning these weapons have one clear moral obligatory and that is machines should never decide when a human will live or die.
[Featured Image by NatureNow/Thinkstock]