Category Archives: Autonomy

A Few Thoughts on “Killer Robots”

I’ve been following the discussion over on IEEE Automaton about the letter from the AI conference in Brazil, (for, against, rebuttal, etc.) , and since this is the kind of thing that normally gets me very engaged (or enraged), I was surprised to find myself ambivalent on the subject.

The original letter ends, “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.”  but this gives us several propositions to consider:

  • “Starting a military AI arms race is a bad idea”

Enough Inappropriate Ethical Analysis Already!

I’ve reached my threshold for uninformed articles about the supposed ethical conundrums that roboticists should be taking into account when they design autonomous cars.  At the end, I’ll be adding more questions to the list of potential research topics, but first, I want to address why these articles are so infuriating.

Grrrr.  Begin rant.

The articles don’t seem to have been vetted at all.  Exhortations to follow Asmiov’s three laws, or (worse yet) implement additional laws and address philosophical dilemmas about which group of people to kill in some avoidable concatenation of tragic events – they all incorporate assumptions about how robots are built and designed that are (at least currently) untrue.