Featured Science, IT, Nature — 23 November 2017

Small drones that neatly fit in the palm of a hand can be unleashed at the push of a button and will unfailingly find their target – humans. They are killer robots, writes Bhagawati

Killer robot

There appears to be a huge audience for action movies and SciFi movies that usually depict brutal killing scenes by means of various weapons. A lot of people seem to find a sick enjoyment in watching those but they are unaware that by putting out such desires, they can manifest them faster than anybody would think possible.

Now we find out about a weapon that has been developed and maybe is already being widely manufactured; such fact would of course be kept a secret. This ‘creation’ is among several autonomous weapons that can select and kill human targets without human supervision. It has scared hundreds of concerned scientists and campaigners, resulting in the making of a chilling video, intentionally showing the brutality and devastating future for mankind were autonomous weapons ever unleashed. They warn that a preemptive ban on the technology is urgently needed to prevent terrible new weapons of mass destruction.

A leading AI scientist at the University of California in Berkeley, Stuart Russell, is quoted to have said, “The technology illustrated in the film is simply an integration of existing capabilities. It is not science fiction. In fact, it is easier to achieve than self-driving cars, which require far higher standards of performance.”

Watch on YouTube

In August 2017, 116 founders of robotics and artificial intelligence companies from 26 countries called in an open letter on the UN to ban the development and use of killer robots. The open letter, also signed by Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, and Mustafa Suleyman, the founder of Alphabet’s Deep Mind AI unit, and other leaders in the fields of AI and robotics, warned that an urgent ban was needed to prevent a “third revolution in warfare,” after gunpowder and nuclear arms. So far, 22 countries support a ban, including Argentina, Egypt and Pakistan.

On 17 November 2017 (what took them so long?), a UN panel 80 countries took part in, agreed to move ahead with talks to define and possibly set limits on weapons that can kill without human involvement, as human rights groups said governments are moving too slowly to keep up with advances in artificial intelligence that could put computers in control one day. Ironically, killing by means of human involvement seems acceptable.

The meeting falls under the UN’s Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons – also known as the Inhumane Weapons Convention – a 37-year old agreement that has set limits on the use of arms and explosives like mines, blinding laser weapons and booby traps over the years.

Already in 2014 Stephen Hawking said that “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

Inventors who develop such robotic murder weapons and the politicians, weapons manufacturers and infamous vested interests who encourage them, are all equipped with a distorted tunnel vision that has horrendous implications for mankind’s future. I wonder if such people ever have a casual fleeting thought that they too could become casualties of such warfare?

I remember hearing Osho say that we already have so many nuclear weapons that we can destroy seven hundred planets of the size of our earth and that every person can be killed seven hundred times over. Now we have entered another stage in this madness – we are living in a potential global war zone.

And Osho also says, “The only thing that can prevent the world war is that you start a totally new consciousness, that you start a new kind of humanity… a man who is capable of love, a man who is capable of meditation. Let love and meditation spread far and wide. Let meditation reach to as many people as possible. Except that, all your efforts at resistance are impotent.”  

He speaks to us all.

Quote by Osho from
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 8, Ch 10, Q 3

More information at autonomousweapons.org

BhagawatiBhagawati is a regular contributor

More articles by this author on Osho News


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