Friday, May 18, 2018

Moral Regulation Demanded

After the release of the first Terminator film in 1984 and the last film in 2015 we have had five in a series where machines and humans do battle.The killer robot is no  longer a scene in a move but reality. An article in the Catholic Peace Weekly gives us some insight into what is happening in military robot manufacturing.

Boston Dynamics a US robot manufacturer, is developing a  killer robot  Atlas with a weight of 156 kg and 188cm in height. Atlas has arms and legs that move freely like human  limbs. Russia is also working on simliar robots.The killer robot will be equipped with artificial intelligence to shoot guns and throw grenades, planned for the year 2025. He will be named after the movie Terminator Ivan.

Korea has also been involved in research in the development of military robots for infantry support by the National Defense Science Institute. Killer robots are attractive to many in the military because they can minimize human casualties and massive attacks without human intervention. Initially, on sentinel duty, but with the development of technology it becomes possible to carry out  missions in places where human beings find it hard to enter: radioacrtive contaminated areas.  Military experts believe if the killer robots become combatants they will change the way war is waged.

In the past it was the victors right to plunder and murder. The idea of murdering unarmed civilians was not a war crime. However in modern times this has changed. An example if  this ethnic cleansing during the Balkian slaughter,  the commander of the Serb militia in 1995 was tried by the International Court of Justice for the killing of 8.000 Muslim men and boys.

In April scholars who are leaders in global artificial intelligence research refused to cooperate with the Korea Advanced Institute of Sciience and Technology in their work with artificial intellegenge. It was reported that KAIST was devloping autonomous weapons which would search for and elimanate targets without human control. This however has changed  and the researches have ended the boycot since KAIST's President affirmed that they have no intention to engage in develoopment of lethal autonomous weapons and killer robots.

With the the military robots we have another problem that faces humanity. If the Balkan slaughter had been ochestrated by artificial intelligence controlled killer robots would not those responsible need to be punished as war criminals? These and many other similar situations will arise with the new technology.

The Sicience fiction wirter, Issac Asimov in 1941 devised  three laws to protect human beings from interactions with robets. A robot may not injure a human being or allow a human being to come to harm, robots must obey the orders given by human beings and a robot must protect it own existence  as long as it does not conflict with the first and second statements above.

When human control over these robots is missing we will have the destruction of human dignity and a calamity for humanity. This requires the  making and developing these robots to follow a charter on morality and rights of human beings, otherwise we will return to the past ages.

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