December 5, 2017
slaughter bots

What Are Slaughter Bots?

There is a fictional, but hauntingly lifelike internet video that has really captured my attention. Stuart Russell, a UC Berkeley computer science professor, created the viral video featuring unstoppable swarms of autonomous tiny drones killing selected victims. “Trained as a team, [the slaughter bots] can penetrate buildings, cars, trains, all while having the capacity to evade any countermeasure. They cannot be stopped,” the video explains.

Professor Russell is part of “The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.” Does anyone else find it alarming that this group even exists? And these are not crackpots who are regularly abducted by UFOs. These are scientists, professors and computer experts.

“This short film is more than just speculation,” said Professor Russell, “It shows the results of integrating and miniaturizing technologies we already have.” Russell said that allowing the widespread use of machines that “choose to kill humans will be devastating to our security and freedom.” He explains, “Thousands of my fellow researchers agree. We have an opportunity to prevent the future you just saw, but the window to act is closing fast.”

Lethal autonomous weapons exist already. Land mines kills anything that triggers them. But that’s mechanical, more like a booby trap. The deadly autonomous weapons discussed on make actual decisions on who and when to kill. That site also has the video I mentioned, or you can search “slaughter-bots” and see the video on YouTube.

Lethal autonomous weapons with artificial intelligence are very attractive. Unmanned drones already carry out strikes for the United States almost weekly overseas. It is only a baby step to just have them select their own targets, and then roast them with a well-placed Hellfire missile. Kamikaze drones already exist, and now only need full authority to find their own target to dive-bomb. Borders and installations could easily be ringed with robotic sentry guns that automatically eviscerate all intruders. Self-driving and firing tanks cannot be far away.

Should machines, or their on-board computers, ever decide when a human being is dispatched into eternity? Will we need our own machines to fight other’s machines, like in Terminator?

“Allowing machines to choose to kill humans will be devastating to our security and our freedom,” Russell warns at the end of the video.  They want to ban them worldwide. Bans already exist related to chemical and biological weapons, expanding bullets, plastic shrapnel, poisoned projectiles and even blinding laser beams. What do you think about slaughter bots?

Mr. Peel seeks justice for those injured in motorcycle, truck and car accidents, disability and medical malpractice. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Mr. Peel may be reached through wherein other articles may be accessed.

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