BBC Radio Four aired this show today and it demonstrates that there are some serious voices with major concerns about the development of autonomous killer machines. This is well worth a listen and I urge all readers to share this link.
“Robots probably won’t take over the world, but they probably will be given ever greater responsibility. Already, robots care for the elderly in Japan, and drones have dropped bombs on Afghanistan. Professor Noel Sharkey fell in love with artificial intelligence in the 1980s, celebrated when he programmed his first robot to move in a straight line down the corridor and , for many years, judged robot wars on TV. Now, he thinks AI is a dangerous dream. Jim al-Khalili hears how Noel left school at 15 to become an electrician’s apprentice and amateur rock musician before graduating as a Doctor of Psychology and world authority on robots, studying both their strengths and their limitations.”
This video from Human Rights Watch is interesting but behind the curve a bit in that there already autonomous weapons deployed in Afghanistan and elsewhere (more on this in a future blog) however they are right about the issue being something that should exercise everybody who is concerned about the abuse of surveillance and weaponry in an increasingly weaponised and autonomous world.
An important video which links the whole issue of surveillance with romantic poetry and shows how the romantic poets and others were fully aware of the issues that confront us today with the increasingly frightening abuse of modern technology by those who would subvert democracy.