Stop terminator-like killer robots now, says British scientist
A BRITISH boffin [British slang for Scientist] today called for urgent action on a global scale to curb the development of military killer robots that think for themselves.
"Terminator"-style machines that decide how, when and who to kill are just around the corner, warns Noel Sharkey, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Sheffield.
"I do think there should be some international discussion and arms control on these weapons but there's absolutely none," said Prof Sharkey.
"The military have a strange view of artificial intelligence based on science fiction. The nub of it is that robots do not have the necessary discriminatory ability. They can't distinguish between combatants and civilians. It's hard enough for soldiers to do that."
The "War on Terror" declared by President George Bush spurred on the development of pilotless drone aircraft deployed against insurgents.
Initially used for surveillance, drones such as the Predator and larger Reaper were now armed with bombs and missiles.
"The next thing that's coming, and this is what really scares me, are armed autonomous robots," said Prof Sharkey speaking to journalists in
"It could happen now; the technology's there."
Even with human controllers, drones were already stacking up large numbers of civilian casualties.
As a result of 60 known drone attacks in
In the wake of Terminator: Salvation, the potential threat of appalling films about the threat of future killer robots might need addressing too.
See here for the real predator: Tech_Journal: Predator RQ-1 / MQ-1 / MQ-9 Reaper - - Airforce Technology