In order to raise awareness and to prevent a real-life ‘Terminator' scenario from ever happening in the real world, high profile individuals have developed and signed a letter banning the creation and use of autonomous weapon systems, such as armed quadcopters that may fly around and destroy things with lethal weapons without human intervention.
Among those that have signed the letter already is famous physicist and mathematician Stephen Hawking, self-made billionaire and owner of SpaceX, Tesla, and Solar City Elon Musk, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
"Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is - practically if not legally - feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms," the letter explains.
"In summary, we believe that AI has great potential to benefit humanity in many ways, and that the goal of the field should be to do so. Starting a military AI arms race is a bad idea, and should be prevented by a ban on offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control."
Although we're just on the brink of breakthrough quadcopter technology soon making its way to our military, now is a good time to ensure that we make responsible decisions before we essentially create our own doomsday with technology we can't control.
The letter stresses that although the future of warfare will ultimately involve artificial intelligence, an artificial intelligence race is a dangerous road to go down and that it should be avoided at all costs.
This is essentially the idea behind the Terminator science fiction movie series, where the military created technology so advanced they were unable to control it, and when they attempted to pull the plug on it, the technology saw humans as a threat and tried to wipe them out.
Weapons that are under full control of computers, instead of humans, always leave the possibility that a bug or virus could send the machine spiraling out of control and becoming an unpredictable lethal weapon with the intent of harming innocent individuals.
It was just recently that Chrysler got slapped with a lawsuit for having a bug in the operating system of its latest vehicles with Uconnect allowing a remote hacker to take full control of the car over a cellular network while the driver is in it, putting the driver at risk of a potentially deadly accident. So this raises the question: what's to stop something like this from happening with an automated weapons system?
What is your opinion on artificial intelligence warfare? Do you support the letter?
Full Letter: http://futureoflife.org/AI/open_letter_autonomous_weapons#signatories