Tuesday, February 10, 2009

robots robot people

the daily show had a segment today on iRobot and how they're apparently making armed robots for the army. they also had a guy arguing for legislation on moral grounds restricting the efficacy of these robots.

to anyone who thinks armed robots might be a good idea, try to define the following terms:

1) gun
2) enemy
3) threat

good luck! can you do it in such a way that an innocent person never gets shot? (hint, the answer is no, nevermind pesky bugs)

i'm not against robots in combat by any means. but we should absolutely legislate (the UN i guess) and enforce non-lethal weapons on robots. and not even like tazors, i'm talking about that foam stuff that will glue their hands and feet together (so long as theres no way it suffucates them should it get on their face).

the UN already has laws in place about proportionality. 0% risk of loss of human life can not be proportional to non-0%, so seems like there's already grounds for such laws.


Jeremy said...

Ok, I didn't see the segment, but are they really talking about Robots (autonomous) here? Clearly we will have ground based counterparts to UAVs, but I doubt we will see robots which have self operating weapons anytime soon.

Adrian said...

We already have robots blowing up stuff in Pakistan, Predator UAVs. The real problem isn't arming robots, its whether we let them make the decision to fire or not fire, or what to target.

Also PW Singer just wrote a book on robots and war, there is a list of some of his articles on it here:

Pat said...

right, this wasnt a commentary on anything currently deployed, which to my knowledge doesnt include autonomous robots with lethal arms. but at one point in the segement the guy from iRobot said something like "oh we'll definitely have armed robots in the future" and he may have been talking about the autonomous variety and if he was, well thats obviously a problem.

Anonymous said...

Suggestion: read Spin Control by Chris Moriarty.