I know we like to joke about the impending robot apocalypse all the time. I’m probably responsible for the majority of the Terminator chatter on this very site and regularly hold meetings in the boiler room at UPROXX headquarters. I’m working on a company wide plan to protect our interests against the combined threat of robots and lizard people.
The bad news is that no one ever shows up to the meetings. The good new is that all of that might soon change. From The Chronicle Herald:
Diplomats urged the adoption of new international laws Tuesday that could govern or outright forbid the use of killer robots if the technology becomes reality someday.
At the first United Nations meeting devoted to the subject, representatives began trying to define the limits and responsibilities of so-called lethal autonomous weapons systems that could go beyond human-directed drones already being used by some armies today.
“All too often international law only responds to atrocities and suffering once it has happened,” Michael Moeller, acting head of the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva, told diplomats at the start of the four-day gathering. “You have the opportunity to take pre-emptive action and ensure that the ultimate decision to end life remains firmly under human control.”
He noted that the UN treaty they were meeting to discuss — the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons adopted by 117 nations including the world’s major powers — was used before to prohibit the use of blinding laser weapons in the 1990s before they were ever deployed on the battlefield, and this “serves as an example to be followed again.”
Silly implications aside, it’s a frightening idea that our already fairly disconnected drone policies could run by autonomous robots. It’s nice to see a governing body take charge and work towards keeping a firm grip on this, even if I think the UN has about as much power as my big toe.
Robots are bad news and it’s been proven through countless media properties that Isaac Asimov was full of sh*t. Just take the SNL sketch below or the cover of Queen’s News Of The World as your prime examples of how much robots care about laws. They should all be destroyed.