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Killer Robots to be banned..

#1
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukn...nd-must-be-outlawed-says-top-UN-official.html

"Top UN Official Spouts Sh1te" - Why do we pay these people money?

Where and when in history have we ever been able to "ban" a viable weapon system? Even banning biological and chemical weapons, which as anyone who has had to deal with it is a monster PITA, has never prevented them being used..

The unit price of robotics and RPVs is falling like a stone.. this matched to the almost pathological aversion by the west to take casualties will make the development and use of these systems inevitable IMHO.

I don't like it - but to try to ban it is wholly missing the point..

1 x quadcopter (£250*) + 1 kg PE (£30*) + 1 Det (£6.40*) = Precision Guided Missile.

.. do the maths as they say!

* - indicative price - subject to local market variations
 
Last edited:

Drivers_lag

On ROPS
On ROPs
#2
Kunty link. I'm not paying to read the telegraph.

You're describing a UAV, but one that's human controlled.

The yanks are trying to develop flying Terminators - which is a bit different.
 
#3
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukn...nd-must-be-outlawed-says-top-UN-official.html

"Top UN Official Spouts Sh1te" - Why do we pay these people money?

Where and when in history have we ever been able to "ban" a viable weapon system? Even banning biological and chemical weapons, which as anyone who has had to deal with it is a monster PITA, has never preventied it being used..

The unit price of robotics and RPVs is falling like a stone.. this matched to the almost pathological aversion by the west to take casualties will make the development and use of these systems inevitable IMHO.

I don't like it - but to try to ban it is wholly missing the point..

1 x quadcopter (£250) + 1 kg PE (£30) + 1 Det (£6.40) = Precision Guided Missile.. qed!
The problem is not the hardware.
Although it is perfectly feasible to make cheap and lethal drones, they still require a human operator.
That the UN is concerned about is the level of self-determination you give the drone.
If you give it, say, the IQ of a rattlesnake, it will just attack the first thermal signature it encounters.
Give it the IQ of a rat, and it will use cunning, evasion and stealth to creep into your house.
Give it enough smarts to kill, but without the moral code to make the decision to attack or not, and you don't have a drone. You have a cybernetic sociopath.
And no one has figured out how to code for morals, ethics and self discipline for people, let alone software.
 
#4
'Killer robots programmed to open fire without human control are just a “small step” from the battlefield and military powers should agree to outlaw them, a top United Nations official has said.'

Bouncing Betty? Trip operated claymore mine? Any Land Mine? Phalanx and Goal Keeper? The MD Phantoms automated bomb release system?





HE177, your looking at about £1000-£2500 for a Hexcopter that could do as your describing. Add in a waypoint system which the DJI Wookong/A2 controllers have and you can send your drone on it's merry way, fully automated, whilst you drive off and leave the launch site.
 
#5
Sorry about that - not aware the TG is charging for links...

Headline reads: Killer robots a small step away and must be outlawed, says top UN official

... yes I know I was describing an RPV, but essentially the only difference between that and an autonomous verhicle is in the software.. once someone has written it (and I'm sure they already have) replication costs nothing... The real killer is the drop in the price of the hardware - that cat is well out the bag and all the legal briefs in China will not put it back again..
 
#6
HE177, your looking at about £1000-£2500 for a Hexcopter that could do as your describing. Add in a waypoint system which the DJI Wookong/A2 controllers have and you can send your drone on it's merry way, fully automated, whilst you drive off and leave the launch site.
I think we are in danger of violently agreeing..

as I said - prices are subject to local variations and bulk buying..!

I recall the PIRA approach to solving the nitrobenzine supply problem they were facing to feed their bombing programme. The solution - order a road tanker full of the stuff from a chemical supplier in Eire and then hijack the vehicle in transit!
 
#7
The problem is not the hardware.
Although it is perfectly feasible to make cheap and lethal drones, they still require a human operator.
That the UN is concerned about is the level of self-determination you give the drone.
If you give it, say, the IQ of a rattlesnake, it will just attack the first thermal signature it encounters.
Give it the IQ of a rat, and it will use cunning, evasion and stealth to creep into your house.
Give it enough smarts to kill, but without the moral code to make the decision to attack or not, and you don't have a drone. You have a cybernetic sociopath.
And no one has figured out how to code for morals, ethics and self discipline for people, let alone software.
I disagree... The hardware is the problem.. Yes, software is the solution, but the ability to do damage is a hardware problem.

The limits for conventional weapons systems in the past have been mainly hardware based as building sufficient precision and capablity into delivery systems is expensive and difficult. Software driven systems have changed this - by using clever software it is now possible to use cheap hardware; indeed by using 3d printing it is now possible to manufacture complex hardware cheaply by using clever software.

The trick is replication.. replicating weapons, even simple ones, has been expensive in the past, needing skilled machinists, exotic materials and specialist machine plant. You can now buy/print lots of digitally aware components to build yourself a wide range of platforms - land/sea/air.. all you then do is build yourself a control program.. unit costs per weapon are then minimised and the clever, expensive bit you only need to build once and then copy... and give to your friends..!

Remember, there are two ways of getting a 155 shell to it's target.. use an expensive gun system and a load of highly trained gunners, or use a taxi with a driver whose wife you are pointing a pistol at..
 
#8
I disagree... The hardware is the problem.. Yes, software is the solution, but the ability to do damage is a hardware problem.

The limits for conventional weapons systems in the past have been mainly hardware based as building sufficient precision and capablity into delivery systems is expensive and difficult. Software driven systems have changed this - by using clever software it is now possible to use cheap hardware; indeed by using 3d printing it is now possible to manufacture complex hardware cheaply by using clever software.

The trick is replication.. replicating weapons, even simple ones, has been expensive in the past, needing skilled machinists, exotic materials and specialist machine plant. You can now buy/print lots of digitally aware components to build yourself a wide range of platforms - land/sea/air.. all you then do is build yourself a control program.. unit costs per weapon are then minimised and the clever, expensive bit you only need to build once and then copy... and give to your friends..!

Remember, there are two ways of getting a 155 shell to it's target.. use an expensive gun system and a load of highly trained gunners, or use a taxi with a driver whose wife you are pointing a pistol at..
Software RUNS Hardware.
Without software, it just sits there.
There's an issue of weapon proliferation, using modern manufacturing techniques, but they are still dumb, or remote controlled, or victim operated.

The article fear is over the control of intelligent weapon systems in the first instance, and then the proliferation of the same.
That's fear is the 'third way' of delivery- you can use a trained operator, use a victim or proxy or suicide bomber, or in this speculative third case, use a self aware weapon system to carry it to its target.

Unlike your average suicide vest wearing jihadi, the kamikaze drone doesn't need to die when the device goes off-the intelligence can be saved. It does not answer to a controller. It's on a memory stick or equivalent, so it can be uploaded into another chassis straight away. It might even learn from it's experiences, and will become a better suicide bomber.

Humans have always built weapons and armour around their own bodies. Drones don't need to , because they don't have squishy meat inside. They can be much smaller, much faster, don't feel fear, heat, cold or pain. And they'll want to kill you, because that's what they have been built to do.
To quote the self-aware bomb in Dark Star: "Let there be light."
 
#9
My point, if you go back to the original post, is that we have probably reached the point of no return on this issue already.. and that some apparatchik in the UN trying to solve the problem by "banning" is pointless..

In my analysis of how and why we have got here my opinion is that there are probably three reasons...

1. We have moved from an era of clever but expensive hardware to one of cheap hardware and clever software. Instead of being made in specialist government factories, these components are being churned out on the open market.

2. In the west, we have developed an aversion to casulties and have developed technical solutions that replace people. To think that these solutions will remain in the hands of the "good guys" is unrealistic.

3. We have put too much reliance on bodies such as the UN who, rather than come up with practical measures to deal with emerging threats, think that we can legislate our way out trouble.
 
#10
My point, if you go back to the original post, is that we have probably reached the point of no return on this issue already.. and that some apparatchik in the UN trying to solve the problem by "banning" is pointless..

In my analysis of how and why we have got here my opinion is that there are probably three reasons...

1. We have moved from an era of clever but expensive hardware to one of cheap hardware and clever software. Instead of being made in specialist government factories, these components are being churned out on the open market.

2. In the west, we have developed an aversion to casulties and have developed technical solutions that replace people. To think that these solutions will remain in the hands of the "good guys" is unrealistic.

3. We have put too much reliance on bodies such as the UN who, rather than come up with practical measures to deal with emerging threats, think that we can legislate our way out trouble.
I'm not quite sure we have quite reached the point of no return - it's an emerging technology, and would still require a lot of work on 'true' AI to be feasible- More risky, I think. are increasingly 'expert' systems, with hard wired behavioural systems, but lacking in common sense.
There's also the very dodgy technology around implanting animal brains-Build a robot that thinks its a wasp, because the wasp brain is inside it, and it will act like a wasp. That wanders across a lot of ethical legal boundaries.

What the UN might not be able to stop, the RSPCA might.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
#12
Not entirely true.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_robotics

That said, there are certain parts of the world where a battalion of cybermen going weapons free may actually be the answer.
Warbots and droids are an old sci-fi trope.
Since most scientists in the field are also sci-fi fanboys, you can expect to see a lot of idea cross fertilisation.

Your problem is either the drones are uniform killing machines (eg Terminators, Cybermen) all with standard expert systems, or you allow them enough individual personality to be self-aware and responsible.

If not slave soldiers, then they must be judged legally competent for their actions-But would you hold a machine capable of committing a war crime?
If they are competent, and self aware, do they qualify for the vote? To marry? Own property? Be baptised?
In fact, if intelligent enough, could they be considered full citizens? If they are smarter and more intelligent than a Jeremy Kyle Show participant, it would be hard not to argue that.

Since the Asimov type laws would presumably restrict the robot more than a Human, you might very well find lawyers arguing that a free Artificial Intelligence should not be subjected to them any more than a Human child be subjected to aversion therapy at birth.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
Warbots and droids are an old sci-fi trope.
Since most scientists in the field are also sci-fi fanboys, you can expect to see a lot of idea cross fertilisation.

Your problem is either the drones are uniform killing machines (eg Terminators, Cybermen) all with standard expert systems, or you allow them enough individual personality to be self-aware and responsible.

If not slave soldiers, then they must be judged legally competent for their actions-But would you hold a machine capable of committing a war crime?
If they are competent, and self aware, do they qualify for the vote? To marry? Own property? Be baptised?
In fact, if intelligent enough, could they be considered full citizens? If they are smarter and more intelligent than a Jeremy Kyle Show participant, it would be hard not to argue that.

Since the Asimov type laws would presumably restrict the robot more than a Human, you might very well find lawyers arguing that a free Artificial Intelligence should not be subjected to them any more than a Human child be subjected to aversion therapy at birth.
All good questions, though I won't live to see them answered.

Given how we usually deal with these things, it'll depend on how much money the people controlling the robots have. If we come back in 100 years, we'll probably finds gangs of robots raping white teenagers while the police and social workers claim ignorance and politicians scream about 'robotism'.
 
#18
...
Give it enough smarts to kill, but without the moral code to make the decision to attack or not, and you don't have a drone. You have a cybernetic sociopath.
And no one has figured out how to code for morals, ethics and self discipline for people, let alone software.
Oh I don't know, the tricky bit might be getting it to kill people in large numbers without any taint of ethics or morals while skillfully evading the technicalities of International Law, that takes a human.
 
#19
Remember, there are two ways of getting a 155 shell to it's target.. use an expensive gun system and a load of highly trained gunners, or use a taxi with a driver whose wife you are pointing a pistol at..
Or in a couple of years, you steal someone's Google self-driving car, load up the boot, and ask it to go to a set postcode.

I wonder whether they've got the road-awareness software to cope with a hard stop yet?
 
#20
We've had killer robots for years. They were called land mines....and they are banned????
 

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