Stay on target Robot Dog Astro Can Sit, Lie Down, and Save LivesYou Can’t Squish This Cockroach-Inspired Robot Activists are calling for global support of a law to ban fully autonomous weapons systems—”before it’s too late.”As talks on the issue resumed Monday in the UN, Amnesty International warned of a grim future controlled by soulless, bloodthirsty cyborgs.“Killer robots are no longer the stuff of science fiction,” Rasha Abdul Rahim, advisor on AI and human rights at Amnesty International, said in a statement.AdChoices广告The human rights organization (ironically known as AI) criticized the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems—host of this week’s Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva—for moving too slowly.“From artificially intelligent drones to automated guns that can choose their own targets, technological advances in weaponry are far outpacing international law,” Abdul Rahim continued. “We are sliding towards a future where humans could be erased from decision-making around the use of force.”During a CCW meeting in April, 26 participants—like Austria, Brazil, and Egypt—backed a total ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems, as reported by Amnesty International; China also endorsed a new CCW protocol to prohibit the use of these so-called killer bots.Some key countries (France, Russia, South Korea, the US, the UK), however, oppose such legally binding prohibitions—probably because they’re already developing this technology.“So far, the likelihood that autonomous weapons will be used in police operations, with all the risks that entails, has been largely overlooked,” according to Abdul Rahim. “But drones capable of shooting electric-shock darts, tear gas, and pepperball already exist.”The Amnesty International researcher cited a recent incident in Israel, where semi-autonomous drones were deployed to fire tear gas at protesters in Gaza.“We are likely to see more use by law enforcement agencies of this kind of technology in [the] future,” she added.Late last year, the Future of Life Institute released a short film, appropriately titled “Slaughterbots,” as part of its Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Designed to resemble actual events, the video highlights a future (or, more likely, a present) in which palm-sized drones can take out a single human with “surgical precision.”“It’s not too late to change course,” Abdul Rahim urged. “A ban on fully autonomous weapons systems could prevent some truly dystopian scenarios, like a new high-tech arms race between world superpowers which would cause autonomous weapons to proliferate widely.“We are calling on states present in Geneva this week to act with the urgency this issue demands,” she said, “and come up with an ambitious mandate to address the numerous risks posed by autonomous weapons.”In July, more than 2,500 AI experts—among them Google DeepMind and Elon Musk—pledged to neither participate in nor support the manufacture of artificially intelligent armaments.“The use of fully autonomous weapons in law enforcement without effective and meaningful human control would be incompatible with international human rights law, and could lead to unlawful killings, injuries, and other violations of human rights,” Abdul Rahim said. “We are calling on states to take concrete steps to halt the spread of these dangerous weapons, both on the streets and on the battlefield, before it’s too late.”It’s no third-arm weapon holster, but this Raspberry Pi-powered Nerf Blaster can ID its target’s face. Instead of fretting over killer commando-robots, though, we should be focused on autonomous cyber weapons. Find out more about the future of artificial intelligence here.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.