RoboCop comes to mind. I remember watching the scene for the first time of when the robot ED-209 had, "only one small glitch." (If you don't remember the scene, here it is).

But we have actually reached a point where we can create just such a robot. That time is actually here, now, and they are being created by our military.

They don't look like ED-209. Not yet anyway. As this video shows the army wants to keep the decision to kill in the hands of humans. They do not want it decided by a machine. Not yet anyway. I'm sure that will change someday too, but for now, maybe they've learned something from all the movies.

But we have come far enough in this new technology that the group Human Rights Watch wants to pass legislation, international law to be precise, that would ban "Killer Robots" in much the same way chemical weapons are banned by international treaty.

From Human Rights Watch:

“Removing human control from the use of force is now widely regarded as a grave threat to humanity that, like climate change, deserves urgent multilateral action,” said Mary Wareham, of Human Rights Watch regarding HRW.org. They are pushing for “an international ban treaty” on AI-operated weapons.

Much like in the movie RoboCop, the idea is to keep a human element in the system. Not having a human making decisions caused a death in that movie, early on. That is why RoboCop was created.

An interesting article by Jazz Saw of Hot Air blog points out that there is just "one little flaw" with the plan from HRW. Killer robots have been here for a while. For about 20 years or so the USA has had the Arleigh Burke-class of guided missile destroyers with the Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Combat System. These are ships where even if the entire crew were to be killed, the system on the ship could identify enemy craft of any kind and strike with multiple weapons systems.

Even the Russians have robots that can be remotely controlled by a human, but they can also be set to seek out the enemy on their own.

Israel's Harpy missile can stay airborne for nine hours and pick out targets by itself.

The U.S. United States has the X-47B drone which can be guided by a human or set to find targets on its own.

From the robot's point of view, it is just playing a video game. That is where some of this killer technology comes from.

That means - Pandora's Box has been opened. 

Enter your number to get our free mobile app