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Should 'killer robots' be banned ?

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#1    Saru


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:16 AM

A human rights organisation has called for the complete ban of autonomous robotic weapon platforms.

hrw.org said:

Governments should pre-emptively ban fully autonomous weapons because of the danger they pose to civilians in armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

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#2    Junior Chubb

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:57 AM


Giving machines the power to decide who lives and dies on the battlefield would take technology too far.

This is a fair point in my opinion. Not from the point of view of 'machines taking over' but more from the point of view that computer programs can go wrong and recognition software can make mistakes (just as humans can). With a human in control though (even remotely) a decision can be made, this way wrong decisions can have consequences rather than just being blamed on 'computer error'.

I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to show me where the hell Helen of Annoy has been for the past couple of months.

#3    woopypooky



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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:24 PM

before someone said 'terminator'

#4    Ever Learning

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:30 PM

the armies are still going to use this tech any way, there just gonna be more sneaky about it.

#5    Gary Meadows

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:50 PM

Best thread title goes to...


~Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while -and do whatever you want all the time -you can miss it.~

#6    Paracelse


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:55 PM

It seems robot are taking over the world regardless of one can say.  If we look at it, soon your burger will be done by a robot, your car is already built by many, and somehow people still don't have time to stop and smell the roses?  Who's fault is that?

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#7    Mnemonix


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:57 PM

Ban them before they take over the world, haven't they watched Terminator?

After that they'll enslave humanity and use us for harvesting bio-electricity. It says so in the Matrix.


“Action is needed now, before killer robots cross the line from science fiction to feasibility,” Goose said.

Yeah, sure. And before we're used in bio-power plants, fed only with a computer generated false reality.

Unless that already happened and we just don't know it...

#8    Timonthy



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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:23 PM

C'mon guys, what have the poor defenseless robots ever done to you? They have feelings too you know.

It would be interesting to see how they would perform however I'm not sure if they would ever be used with full autonomy.

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#9    Chooky88



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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:02 PM

I agree..

#10    ouija ouija

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:15 PM

What sort of a crazy world are we living in that: a) these things have been invented and made, B) they're even considering using them?

What, in all the world, could I do to earn my living and still live as myself, as I knew myself to be? Temporary masks, I knew, had their place; everyone was wearing them, they were the human rage; but not masks cemented in place until the wearer could not breathe and was eventually suffocated.

#11    ExpandMyMind



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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:26 PM

View PostJunior Chubb, on 22 November 2012 - 11:57 AM, said:

This is a fair point in my opinion. Not from the point of view of 'machines taking over' but more from the point of view that computer programs can go wrong and recognition software can make mistakes (just as humans can). With a human in control though (even remotely) a decision can be made, this way wrong decisions can have consequences rather than just being blamed on 'computer error'.

Agreed. At least with a person someone can theoretically be held directly responsible. If an automated killing machine blows up the wrong house, I can hardly see computer programmers being held responsible.

#12    synchronomy


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 02:40 PM

Any weapon developed, leads to countermeasures by an enemy.
We've already seen examples of electronic warfare taking place, such as radar, radio, satellite jamming or cyber attacks.
The use of autonomous robot weapons, whether ground based or aerial, would see the same type of attacks.
What if an enemy were able to re-program such weapons.
It would be a nasty situation if a squadron or robotic aircraft were launched against enemy targets, and they turned around and began attacking our own targets!

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This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. -- Carl Sagan

#13    tyrant lizard

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 03:01 PM

I'm all in favour of a droid army. As long as there's an endless clone army to oppose them.

#14    brothers


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

Who is it to say that other countries will not build them. How would the robot know who is friend or foe. If you say their suits the soldiers were then the enemy could just wear the other countries uniform and fool the robot. Lots of things can go wrong. I say build them but to a certain extend but how?? don't ask me.

#15    keithisco


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 04:19 PM

Interesting, but not at all what is happening at the moment. I take the point that full autonomy would be wrong.

Having worked on the Talarion Project I can state that autonomy is strictly limited to attaining the theatre of operations, and to attaining a "crash - site" if communications are lost (not quite that simplistic - but near enough for this discussion).

The command for "weapons live" and "release" are still under human control, and if there is a Software failure leading to unintentional release of weapons then it is absolutely the personal responsibility of the people who "signed off"  the Control System. They can, each and everyone, be held responsible, under International Law for Negligent Homicide.... That is why I carry 10M UK Pounds of personal Insurance.

Edited by keithisco, 22 November 2012 - 04:21 PM.

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