AI Expert Warns That ‘Killer Robots’ Will Start Murdering Us All If Not Banned

It's like the beginning of every single dystopian sci-fi flick we've ever seen. We fuck around with technology just that little bit too much... and it bites back.

And you'd be fine if you were Will Smith in I, Robot, where he's able to overcome a humanoid robot army because of his strong cyborg arm and artificial lung.

But you're not Will Smith, remember. You neither look like Will Smith, and you're also nowhere near as badass as Will Smith. In short? When it comes to killer robots, you'd be screwed.

I Robot
I Robot

Remember, you're no Will Smith. Credit: I, Robot / 20th Century Fox

And because of our ever-advancing technology, the stuff of blockbuster movies could well become reality - a global issue that was discussed last week at a United Nations panel discussion.

At the chat,Toby Walsh, Scientia Professor of AI at UNSW Sydney, called for a ban on 'killer robots'.

"[The] arms race has happened [and] is happening today," he said, reports AFP.

"These will be weapons of mass destruction. I am actually quite confident that we will ban these weapons ... My only concern is whether [countries] have the courage of conviction to do it now, or whether we will have to wait for people to die first."

But Amandeep Gill, who chaired the Convention on Conventional Weapons meeting (sounds like we made that up, but we didn't), is eager to downplay the issue, saying: "Ladies and gentlemen, I have news for you: the robots are not taking over the world. Humans are still in charge".

That said, there's still no plan for the panel to meet again until 2018, the Times of Israel reports. A lack of urgency is something that Gill has defended, saying: "I think we have to be careful in not emotionalising or dramatising this issue."

However, The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots (again, sounds like we made that up, but we didn't) recently released a short film where autonomous weapons are used to carry out mass killings with ease and efficiency - while everyone else has no fucking clue how to stop them.

"[Artificial intelligence's] potential to benefit humanity is enormous, even in defence," said Stuart Russell, a professor of computer science at the University of Berkeley, who featured in the film.

"But allowing machines to choose to kill humans will be devastating to our security and freedom. Thousands of my fellow researchers agree. We have an opportunity to prevent the future you just saw, but the window to act is closing fast."

Well, it was nice knowing you.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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