Robot News #6

AI

There have been many articles related to Robots and AI. Here are some that I think were the most interesting.

Will AI Control Us?

There have been all sorts of predictions:

  • AI eliminates humanity and reshapes the world to fit its existence
  • AI lives side by side with humanity as its guide
  • AI and humanity battle one another for dominance

In “Let Artificial Intelligence Evolve” letting AI evolve naturally is proposed. In doing so, AI will learn to work with humans. It will also gain the needed feelings and ethics to understand that destroying humans is morally wrong.

Some interesting philosophical ideas presented here.

Autonomous Weapons

There are not many autonomous weapons yet (at least offensive weapons outside some development labs). But the article “Autonomous Weapons ‘Could Be Developed for Use Within Years,’ Says Arms-Control Group” indicates that they could be deployed in the near future. UN discussions on the wisdom of deploying such weapons have been going on.

There is plenty of research going on into robotic weapons platforms. Interest within the military of the US, Russia, Israel, South Korea and China are well documented. Most of these efforts though have been in human controlled robotic systems, though autonomous targeting is being explored. The article “Do We Want Robot Warriors to Decide Who Lives or Dies?” dives a bit into this subject.

A long personal article by Mark Gubrud (adjunct professor in the Curriculum in Peace, War & Defense at the University of North Carolina)Why Should We Ban Autonomous Weapons? To Survive” gives substantial arguments why autonomous weapons should be banned. An interview with William Boothby (former lawyer, RAF Air Commodore, autonomous weapon researcher) is more willing to see the need of autonomous weapons in some circumstances. Read the interview in “In defence of killer robots“.

While I can see the desire to limit the development and deployment of more weapons, legal frameworks (like with gun control laws) will only constrain the law abiding. As pointed out in “Terrorists want to create a ROBOT ARMY: UN report warns we are at risk of an arms race fuelled by artificial intelligence“, regardless of what rule making bodies, like the UN, decide terrorists may well already be looking at robotics and automated weapons to expand their reach.

Inmoov – A Robot For Good

After the discussion of robots as weapons above, I thought something demonstrating how robots can be used for humanity was in order.  The Inmoov project intends to provide hospitalized children with a robot they and control to explore the world around them.

Even though kids are bound to a hospital bed, with an Inmoov they can explore a zoo or museum. Inmoov is an Open Source 3D printed robot. Volunteers from around the world can take advantages of the design.

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