Written by Betty Laseter on 30 May 2015
Agency (DARPA) has commissioned killer robots that can kill their targets without seeking any help from humans. However, some experts say the robots, called Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems, can violate the Geneva Convention. Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote in Nature, an academic journal, that he believes that these robots can violate the Geneva Convention.
"Despite the limits imposed by physics, one can expect platforms deployed in the millions,
the agility and lethality of which will leave
humans utterly defenseless. This is not a desirable
future", he said.
The United Nations last year agreed to what Russell suggested and called for a global ban on the devices, stating that the development could have 'terrifying' consequences.
Russell explained LAWS can breach the fundamental principles of human dignity as it will allow machines to select whom to kill. For example, the robots can be tasked to eliminate anyone exhibiting threatening behavior.
He also affirmed that technologies have reached a point where the development of such systems is practically feasible within years.
As per experts, LAWS are expected to be drones that will have the ability to make decisions on who should be killed without requiring any human interaction, and DARPA currently has two different projects in the works which could lead to these deadly machines becoming a reality. The first is Fast Lightweight Army (FLA), which will be able to buzz around inside of buildings and complex urban areas at high speeds.
And the second is the Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE), which intends to create teams of drones which are capable of conducting a strike mission.
Jody Williams, an American political activist who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work banning anti-personnel landmines, has also stood against DARPA's love for artificial intelligence and robots, with her Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.