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Subject: Does this scare anyone else? - Robot weapon platforms rss

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http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/03/21/291887...


If you've ever been involved in any programming project, maybe you share my fear about how things can go wrong....

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Boaty McBoatface
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No, it's not yet self aware.
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slatersteven wrote:
No, it's not yet self aware.

1. Acquire some target
2. Shoot

No AI necessary, unless you mean being 'smart' enough to distinguish legitimate targets
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Andy Leighton
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People already have concerns over robot weapons. The International Committee for Robot Arms Control (http://icrac.net/), headed by Noel Sharkey, has been around for a while.

Those of a certain age may remember Noel Sharkey from the TV programme Robot Wars.
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tesuji wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
No, it's not yet self aware.

1. Acquire some target
2. Shoot

No AI necessary, unless you mean being 'smart' enough to distinguish legitimate targets
No, I mean being smart enough to not be under our control.
 
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slatersteven wrote:
tesuji wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
No, it's not yet self aware.

1. Acquire some target
2. Shoot

No AI necessary, unless you mean being 'smart' enough to distinguish legitimate targets
No, I mean being smart enough to not be under our control.


Actually, I think you mean smart enough to WANT to not be under our control.
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Read Daniel Suarez's "Kill Decision".
 
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Engineering/programming an autonomous killing robot is downright evil in my opinion.

If there was at least one remote pilot checking the acquired target before the robot fires, then it would be similar to any other advanced gun platform, i.e. I'm too keen on these either, but I don't see much of a difference between that and an airplane, drone, tank or rifle. These are all tools for killing and the only difference is the effectivness and the exposure of the human operator.

But as I said, designing autonomous robots for the purpose of killing is quite disturbing and probably a recipe for disaster.
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I have the same answer for this as I do for autopilots on cars. If the AI is equal or better than the average driver/gunner at driving/deciding upon targets, then implementing such AI's is a break even or improvement.
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jimbrax wrote:
I'll finally be able to stop cats shitting on my lawn when I'm not there.


Heck, a firmware upgrade, hacked Kinect and an Uzi on a Roomba and no more need for guard dogs.

EDIT: And your floors get clean!

EDIT: Quick google search shows we are just one step from weaponization:
http://www.gamespot.com/articles/kinect-connected-to-roomba-...
It can recognize the human form, very handy for target acquisition.
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slatersteven wrote:
tesuji wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
No, it's not yet self aware.

1. Acquire some target
2. Shoot

No AI necessary, unless you mean being 'smart' enough to distinguish legitimate targets
No, I mean being smart enough to not be under our control.

I'm more worried about bugs and glitches, whatever level of AI it has. The thing doesn't have pass the Turing test to be an effective weapon.

We talking about killing people. The thing better be foolproof, and no machine is. At the very least, I assume the creators will install some sort of internal "shut down" switch (that somehow the enemy couldn't hack into and set themselves).

Just seems very problematic
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tesuji wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
tesuji wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
No, it's not yet self aware.

1. Acquire some target
2. Shoot

No AI necessary, unless you mean being 'smart' enough to distinguish legitimate targets
No, I mean being smart enough to not be under our control.

I'm more worried about bugs and glitches, whatever level of AI it has. The thing doesn't have pass the Turing test to be an effective weapon.

We talking about killing people. The thing better be foolproof, and no machine is. At the very least, I assume the creators will install some sort of kill switch (that somehow the enemy couldn't hack into and set themselves).

Just seems very problematic
I am sure that the 122,105 – 135,611 Iraqi civilians killed in the Iraq war feel much relieved they wer not victims of software cliches.

It seems to me this is no more of an issue then it is with a scared and tired man with a rifle.
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Oh, for God's sake, they've been calling these things robots for years. They're nothing of the sort. There's nothing autonomous about them. They're advanced remote control units.

It's the exact same thing with drones, rather unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV). People have been pissing their pants for years as if there's a fundamental difference between an F-16 and a drone. The one and only salient difference is that a pilot is not put in harm's way.

None of these devices are actual robots, acting autonomously, making life and death decisions, sci-fi-robot-gone-mad-caught-in-a-logic-paradox.


Yes, we do indeed make use of actual robots, that are programmed and autonomously act according to their programming, such as the ubiquitous industrial robots.

And likely, one day, the state of the programming art will be able to make decisions that until now have been relegated only to human beings. We're hardly there yet except in research. More importantly, it will be a moral and political decision to make, as to how much autonomy we will give these devices.

Just to short-circuit a common misapprehension, certain functions wherein a software-intensive automated system acts autonomously are in use. An aeroplane's auto-pilot is very far from the robotics and artificial intelligence under discussion. These systems do what computers do best. They handle a large amount of data very quickly and act according to a well-understood functional context. The auto-pilot is no more acting autonomously than is the circuitry in your toaster-oven.

It's just a pet peeve of mine. Remember that television show of the fighting robots, with the designer/builders in a booth running the show via their remote controls. Well, there you go. I was always irritated that they referred to these gizmos as robots.
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isaacc wrote:

Oh, for God's sake, they've been calling these things robots for years. They're nothing of the sort. There's nothing autonomous about them. They're advanced remote control units.
.


I remember an old science fiction book/story that I can't remember the name of and who wrote it, that had a name for these, Waldos. Not sure if the author coined it or if it was pre-existing. I wish the media would glom onto a different term than "robot" for remote-controlled devices also.

It's one of the things that annoys me about the Rifts RPG. There are AI-based robots and then there are large suits of Robot power armor that are piloted by a meat-based robot (player character).
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qzhdad wrote:
I have the same answer for this as I do for autopilots on cars. If the AI is equal or better than the average driver/gunner at driving/deciding upon targets, then implementing such AI's is a break even or improvement.

The difference between an autopiloted car and an autonomous killing robot is the purpose. The latter should be illegal the same way that killing is.

Regardless of errors, humans at least have the capacity to not carry out an order they find immoral; no such thing among robot soldiers.
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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TheChin! wrote:
jimbrax wrote:
I'll finally be able to stop cats shitting on my lawn when I'm not there.


Heck, a firmware upgrade, hacked Kinect and an Uzi on a Roomba and no more need for guard dogs.

EDIT: And your floors get clean!

EDIT: Quick google search shows we are just one step from weaponization:
http://www.gamespot.com/articles/kinect-connected-to-roomba-...
It can recognize the human form, very handy for target acquisition.


Can it recognize dirt on the floor, though? That would be more helpful.

I like the ideas of unmanned, no-person-needed robots going in and looking for trapped people so that the people know WHERE victims are and can focus on getting victims out instead of having to search for them as part of the rescue effort. Awesome idea. Also it could take chances humans wouldn't take in order to find survivors, that someone wouldn't take just to check for victims but would definitely take to rescue someone.
 
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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Simon Mueller wrote:
qzhdad wrote:
I have the same answer for this as I do for autopilots on cars. If the AI is equal or better than the average driver/gunner at driving/deciding upon targets, then implementing such AI's is a break even or improvement.

The difference between an autopiloted car and an autonomous killing robot is the purpose. The latter should be illegal the same way that killing is.

Regardless of errors, humans at least have the capacity to not carry out an order they find immoral; no such thing among robot soldiers.


That's why we need them so badly!
 
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isaacc wrote:

Oh, for God's sake, they've been calling these things robots for years. They're nothing of the sort. There's nothing autonomous about them. They're advanced remote control units.

It's the exact same thing with drones, rather unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV). People have been pissing their pants for years as if there's a fundamental difference between an F-16 and a drone. The one and only salient difference is that a pilot is not put in harm's way.

None of these devices are actual robots, acting autonomously, making life and death decisions, sci-fi-robot-gone-mad-caught-in-a-logic-paradox.


Yes, we do indeed make use of actual robots, that are programmed and autonomously act according to their programming, such as the ubiquitous industrial robots.

And likely, one day, the state of the programming art will be able to make decisions that until now have been relegated only to human beings. We're hardly there yet except in research. More importantly, it will be a moral and political decision to make, as to how much autonomy we will give these devices.

Just to short-circuit a common misapprehension, certain functions wherein a software-intensive automated system acts autonomously are in use. An aeroplane's auto-pilot is very far from the robotics and artificial intelligence under discussion. These systems do what computers do best. They handle a large amount of data very quickly and act according to a well-understood functional context. The auto-pilot is no more acting autonomously than is the circuitry in your toaster-oven.

It's just a pet peeve of mine. Remember that television show of the fighting robots, with the designer/builders in a booth running the show via their remote controls. Well, there you go. I was always irritated that they referred to these gizmos as robots.
.

I agree with the sentiment, but the OP is explicitely about theoretical autonomous robots used for killing.
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Simon Mueller wrote:
qzhdad wrote:
I have the same answer for this as I do for autopilots on cars. If the AI is equal or better than the average driver/gunner at driving/deciding upon targets, then implementing such AI's is a break even or improvement.

The difference between an autopiloted car and an autonomous killing robot is the purpose. The latter should be illegal the same way that killing is.

Regardless of errors, humans at least have the capacity to not carry out an order they find immoral; no such thing among robot soldiers.

But robot soldiers also don't have the ability to gun down an entire family if it doesn't fit its threat profile.
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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JohnnyOffice wrote:
Simon Mueller wrote:
qzhdad wrote:
I have the same answer for this as I do for autopilots on cars. If the AI is equal or better than the average driver/gunner at driving/deciding upon targets, then implementing such AI's is a break even or improvement.

The difference between an autopiloted car and an autonomous killing robot is the purpose. The latter should be illegal the same way that killing is.

Regardless of errors, humans at least have the capacity to not carry out an order they find immoral; no such thing among robot soldiers.

But robot soldiers also don't have the ability to gun down an entire family if it doesn't fit its threat profile.


Yes, but its threat profile could very well be miscoded and include "Normal family."
 
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JohnnyOffice wrote:
Simon Mueller wrote:
qzhdad wrote:
I have the same answer for this as I do for autopilots on cars. If the AI is equal or better than the average driver/gunner at driving/deciding upon targets, then implementing such AI's is a break even or improvement.

The difference between an autopiloted car and an autonomous killing robot is the purpose. The latter should be illegal the same way that killing is.

Regardless of errors, humans at least have the capacity to not carry out an order they find immoral; no such thing among robot soldiers.

But robot soldiers also don't have the ability to gun down an entire family if it doesn't fit its threat profile.
Well it can have, but it would be clear it was ordered to. Ironically it might make it easier to prosecute (or at least hold to account) officers who order the deaths of civilians "on the sly". Abu Ghraib (as an example) could not happen without actual orders being issued (even if through faulty programing).
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Jythier wrote:
Yes, but its threat profile could very well be miscoded and include "Normal family."

Engineer A: Why did the robot drive into the nearest shopping mall and mow down five families?
Engineer B: I dunno. I deliberately excluded "average family" from the robot's threat profile. Fortunately we hit the emergency button before it could do any more damage.
Engineer A: Let's have a look at the code!
Engineer B: Oh damn. Obviously the robot didn't encounter any families with 2.4 children.
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