What's Next, Islamist Killbots?

| February 29, 2008 | Reply

johnny5.jpgNow I’ll watch Short Circuit in a completely different light.

Increasingly autonomous, gun-toting robots developed for warfare could easily fall into the hands of terrorists and may one day unleash a robot arms race, a top expert on artificial intelligence told AFP.

“They pose a threat to humanity,” said University of Sheffield professor Noel Sharkey ahead of a keynote address Wednesday before Britain’s Royal United Services Institute.

The thrust of the story is that terrorists could capture these Killbots and send them on a Killbot rampage, forcing our military leaders to send wave after wave of men at them until they reach their preset kill limit.

Of course, that assumes that the Islamists are capable of repairing and reprogramming a robot they capture. Then doing that lots of times – enough to make them a legitimate threat. That’s the easy route. The hard route would require facilities to actually build and program brand-new robots, which means that they’re working from inside a sympathetic state run by a sympathetic leader, like the one we recently toppled. We can hope that our future leaders are sane enough to ensure that no such states exist in the future.

I think we’re quite a few years away from having to really worry about Islamic Killbots. We have to have them ourselves, first, and that’s not going to be happening tomorrow. I think it’s safe to relax. For now.

Category: Uncategorized

About the Author ()