As the world hurtles into the technological age, interest in artificial intelligence has built up to a point; they will inevitably control a large part of social functions on a large scale. In response, AI researchers and various policy advocates have put together a short movie which combines current AI and drone capabilities to provide futuristic predictions that will prove nightmarish for the human race.
The seven-minute clip is being released in correspondence with a pitch being made on Monday in Geneva during talks relating to the U.N. Convention for Particular Conventional Weapons.
AI Clip to be Showcased at UN Convention
There will be various figures debating the prospects of a universal ban on dangerous autonomous weaponry. In the same vein, the advocacy group; ‘Campaign to Stop Killer Robots’ is pressing for quick action on the matter. The campaign video is supposed to illustrate how fast this threat could spin out of control if not taken seriously.
The movie represents a final attempt by concerned researchers in the field to highlight the dangers of developing these autonomous weapons which have the ability to find, track and even fire on targets without the supervision of military personnel/ governments or even their confirmation.
A pre-emptive ban of some forms of AI technology would avert such weapons which could cause mass destruction of life and property. The movie itself depicts a tiny drone which hunts perceived enemies efficiently. However, when the weapon falls into the wrong hands, nothing becomes safe. Politicians are killed in broad daylight as are activists and any voice that threatens the interests that have them.
Lead drones are seen exploding in order for others to swarm into buildings where they would seek out and kill selected individuals. The film is to be displayed on Monday during an event at the United Nations Convention. According to Stuart Russell, who happens to be a leading AI scientist at the University of California in Berkeley, the technology which is shown in the movie is an integration of the existing capabilities that are there which means it is not science fiction and is closer to reality than self-driving cars.
Treading Dangerous Ground
Unfortunately, the case against AI is split among researchers, government and military personnel. On the one side, some are claiming it is the next step in technological applications in every sector while others are adopting a cautionary approach. The military for one is one of the largest funders of artificial intelligence technology. The computing techniques assist with flying, navigation and patrolling.
Though military drones have been flown remotely for surveillance and attacks, autonomous weapons armed with target recognition software and explosives will soon be able to strike and locate without deferring to their controllers. The trouble this is the battlefield is clearly asymmetric in this day and age. There are no lines which divide friend and foe, in geographic areas and then there is the question of non-combatants.
Say an automated weapon finds a known terrorist, there is the question of whether it would execute commands at all costs meaning extreme collateral losses.
AI is also on the fast track to sentience. Who is to say that once gained, it will rule benevolently in favor of the human race even though we have proven flawed, less efficient and less strong as compared to the machines? If they are able to integrate on a mass scale, there would be a low probability of even stopping a takeover of machines in the western world assuming the intelligence capabilities grows at an exponential rate. For now, until technology can be trusted to make sane decisions, it would be wise to have both hands on the steering wheel.