The Killer Robots take on 2017
The United Nations has decided to take on killer robots. ( robots 2017 ) At the international Convention on Conventional Weapons in Geneva, 123 participating nations voted to initiate official discussions on the danger of lethal autonomous weapons systems.robots 2017 That’s the emerging designation for so called “killer robots” weapons controlled by artificial intelligence that can target and strike without human intervention.
The agreement is the latest development in a growing movement calling for an preemptive ban on weaponize A.I. and deadly autonomous weapons. Last year, a coalition of more than 1,000 scientists and industry leaders, including Eldon Musk and representatives of Google and Microsoft, signed an official letter to the United Nations demanding action.
The UN decision is significant in that it calls for formal discussions on the issue in 2017. In high-level international deliberations, the move from informal to formal represents a real step forward, said Stephen Goose, arms director of Human Rights Watch and a co-founder of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.
In essence, they decided to move from the talk shop phase to the action phase, where they are expected to produce a concrete outcome, Goose said in an email exchange with Seeker.
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It’s widely acknowledged that military agencies around the world are already developing lethal autonomous weapons. In August, Chinese officials disclosed that the country is exploring the use of A.I. and automation in its next generation of cruise missiles.
China’s plans for weapons and artificial intelligence may be terrifying, but no more terrifying than similar efforts by the U.S., Russia, Israel, and others, goose said. The U.S. is farther along in this field than any other nation. Most advanced militarizes are pursuing ever-greater autonomy in weapons. Killer robots would come in all sizes and shapes, including deadly miniaturized versions that could attack in huge swarms, and would operate from the air, from the ground, from the sea, and underwater.
The key thing distinguishing a fully autonomous weapon from an ordinary conventional weapon, or even a semi-autonomous weapon like a drone, is that a human would no longer be deciding what or whom to target and when to pull the trigger, he said.The weapon system itself, using artificial intelligence and sensors, would make those critical battlefield determinations. This would change the very nature of warfare, and not for the betterment of humankind.
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Goose said that pressure from the science and industry leaders, including some rather apocalyptic warnings from Stephen Hawking, helped spur the UN into action.
“The scientific community appears quite unified in opposing the development of fully autonomous weapons,” he said. “They worry that pursuit of fully autonomous weapons will damage the reputation of the AI community and make it more difficult to move forward with beneficial AI efforts.”
Aside from the obvious danger of killer robots gone rogue, the very development of such systems could lead to a “robotic arms race” that threatens international stability, Goose said. The killer robot is a mutational thing for all over the world.The dangers of fully autonomous weapons are foreseeable, and we should take action now to prevent potentially catastrophic future harm to civilians, to soldiers, and to the planet.
SAN FRANCISCO was Forget the Terminator . The next robot on the horizon may be wearing a lab coat.Artificial intelligence (AI) is already helping scientists form testable hypotheses that enable experts to run real experiments, and the technology may soon be poised to help businesses make decisions, one scientist says.
However, that doesn’t mean the machines will be taking over from humans entirely. Instead, humans and machines have complementary skill-sets, so AI could help researchers with the work they already do, Laura Haas, a computer scientist and director of the IBM Research Accelerated Discovery Lab in San Jose, California, said here Wednesday (Dec. 7) at the Future Technologies Conference. (Super-intelligent Machines 7 Robotic Futures)
The machine will come to be a strong partner to humans, akin to the android Data on the TV series Star Trek The Next Generation, Haas said.Big Data Though many people fear a future where our robot overlords surpass humans in almost every capacity, in reality, machines have long outpaced mere mortals at many tasks, such as doing incredibly fast mathematical computations. But this dominance is nowhere clearer than in the realm of Big Data.
Global scientific output doubles every nine years; 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone; 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day, Haas said. (An exabyte is equivalent to 1 billion gigabytes….!!
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In the competition between man and machine, computers are the undisputed winners at processing and assimilating all this information said Hass lendond. After IBM’s Watson trounced Ken Jennings in “Jeopardy!”, Dr. Olivier Lethargic, a molecular biologist at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, contacted Haas’ group to see if similar technology could help him in his research.
Lichtarge was looking at a specific gene, called p53, which is dubbed the cell’s “angel of death,” Haas said. The gene helps direct the cell through its life cycle and kills aging or damaged cells. In about 50 percent of cancer cases, there is some problem with how p53 is functioning, Haas added. What’s more, research had revealed that certain molecules, called kinases, played a key role in the functioning of p53.
But, there were more than 70,000 scientific papers written about this gene, and 5,000 new studies are cropping up each year. A lab assistant could never read all the literature to identify good kinase candidates, so Lichtarge asked the group to build a program that could read through the existing literature and then identify molecules that might act as kinase to p53.
the AI assistant scanned through hordes of medical abstracts from studies published before 2004, and identified nine different kinase molecules that were potentially affecting the activity of p53. In the ensuing decade, other researchers had identified seven of those molecules as kinases. Two, however, were never mentioned in all of the literature.They went off and tried to do some experimentation in the lab,” Haas said. “About a year later, we had proof both in vivo and in vitro experimentation that these two were kinases.
Of course, Watson isn’t yet up to the level of a brilliant and trained research scientist. In this instance, AI was used to tackle a narrow, straightforward problem that was very well posed, and it also benefited from a wealth of scientific data, Haas said.
But, she said the results were exciting nonetheless.