As robots from Boston Dynamics and the like proceed to seek out extra widespread purposes, issues are rising round their misuse. In a bid to stop the unfold of killer robots in society, a gaggle of robotics corporations have printed an open letter pledging to not weaponize their machines, and pleading with customers to do the identical.
The concept autonomous machines may be weaponized and deployed to trigger hurt just isn’t new, however as our entry to extremely succesful robots continues to enhance we’ve got seen these issues raised in a extra mainstream sphere. We’ve seen leaders in AI and robotics petition the UN to ban the event of a majority of these machines, and these actions proceed to realize momentum as extra corporations and organizations lend their identify to the trigger.
In October final yr, Ghost Robotics confirmed off a robotic canine with a sniper rifle mounted on its again. One other video doing the rounds on social media earlier this yr confirmed a quadruped robotic carrying an assault rifle and firing at targets on the vary. Questions stay over the veracity of that second instance, however the level stays: imaginative and prescient of robotic canine mixed with lethal weapons is an unnerving glimpse into the long run.
Boston Dynamics, along with Agility Robotics, ANYbotics, Boston Dynamics, Clearpath Robotics, Open Robotics and Unitree Robotics, have as we speak voiced their issues round these prospects. In an open letter addressed to the trade, the group notes the rising affordability and accessibility of superior commercially obtainable robots, and the rising potential for his or her misuse.
“Untrustworthy individuals might use them to invade civil rights or to threaten, hurt, or intimidate others,” the letter reads. “One space of explicit concern is weaponization. We imagine that including weapons to robots which can be remotely or autonomously operated, broadly obtainable to the general public, and able to navigating to beforehand inaccessible areas the place individuals reside and work, raises new dangers of hurt and critical moral points.”
The letter goes on to incorporate a pledge from the group to not weaponize their robots, nor help others to take action, and calls on policy-makers and customers to advertise their protected use. It additionally features a plan to diligently assess their clients’ intentions for his or her merchandise and work on technological options to scale back the dangers of robotic weaponization.
“We’re satisfied that the advantages for humanity of those applied sciences strongly outweigh the chance of misuse, and we’re excited a couple of vibrant future by which people and robots work facet by facet to sort out among the world’s challenges,” the letter concludes.
Supply: Boston Dynamics
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