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Ban ‘Killer Robots’ Before It’s Too Late

Ban ‘Killer Robots’ Before It’s Too Late | VI Tech Review (VITR) | Scoop.it

Governments should pre-emptively ban fully autonomous weapons because of the danger they pose to civilians in armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. These future weapons, sometimes called “killer robots,” would be able to choose and fire on targets without human intervention.
The 50-page report, “Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots,” outlines concerns about these fully autonomous weapons, which would inherently lack human qualities that provide legal and non-legal checks on the killing of civilians. In addition, the obstacles to holding anyone accountable for harm caused by the weapons would weaken the law’s power to deter future violations.


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Why Our Current Missions to Space Could Create Sentient Robots

Why Our Current Missions to Space Could Create Sentient Robots | VI Tech Review (VITR) | Scoop.it

Space is the domain of robots. NASA is about to land the semi-autonomous robot Curiosity on Mars within the next few days, where it joins its two less-sophisticated robot brethren, Spirit and Opportunity. There's a good reason why these rovers are the first Earthlings first to set foot — or rather, tire treads — on Mars. Even the simplest robot can survive in space better than a human can.

As we program more and more of our smart machines to explore space, we might discover a lot more than microbial life in the waters of Europa. Instead, says celebrated science historian Richard Rhodes (author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb), we might unwittingly create the first sentient robots.


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Intelligent Autonomous Systems

This talk describes the current research path towards intelligent, semi-autonomous systems, where both humans and automation tightly interact, and together, accomplish tasks such as searching for survivors of a hurricane using a team of UAVs with sensors with highly efficient interaction. This talk is describes the current state of the art in 1) intelligent robotic (only) systems, 2) modeling human decisions and 3) semi-autonomous systems, with a focus on information exchange, and command and control.

Mark Campbell is the S.C. Thomas Sze Director of the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University.


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