Boston Dynamics and different companies pen open letter in opposition to weaponized robots


    As robots from Boston Dynamics and the like proceed to seek out extra widespread functions, issues are rising round their misuse. In a bid to forestall the unfold of killer robots in society, a bunch of robotics corporations have revealed an open letter pledging to not weaponize their machines, and pleading with customers to do the identical.

    The concept that autonomous machines will be weaponized and deployed to trigger hurt just isn’t new, however as our entry to extremely succesful robots continues to enhance now we have seen these issues raised in a extra mainstream sphere. We’ve seen leaders in AI and robotics petition the UN to ban the event of these kinds of machines, and these actions proceed to achieve momentum as extra corporations and organizations lend their identify to the trigger.

    In October final 12 months, Ghost Robotics confirmed off a robotic canine with a sniper rifle mounted on its again. One other video doing the rounds on social media earlier this 12 months confirmed a quadruped robotic carrying an assault rifle and firing at targets on the vary. Questions stay over the veracity of that second instance, however the level stays: imaginative and prescient of robotic canine mixed with lethal weapons is an unnerving glimpse into the longer term.

    Boston Dynamics, along with Agility Robotics, ANYbotics, Boston Dynamics, Clearpath Robotics, Open Robotics and Unitree Robotics, have right this moment voiced their issues round these prospects. In an open letter addressed to the trade, the group notes the growing affordability and accessibility of superior commercially obtainable robots, and the growing potential for his or her misuse.

    “Untrustworthy folks may use them to invade civil rights or to threaten, hurt, or intimidate others,” the letter reads. “One space of explicit concern is weaponization. We imagine that including weapons to robots which might be remotely or autonomously operated, broadly obtainable to the general public, and able to navigating to beforehand inaccessible places the place folks stay and work, raises new dangers of hurt and critical moral points.”

    The letter goes on to incorporate a pledge from the group to not weaponize their robots, nor assist others to take action, and calls on policy-makers and customers to advertise their secure use. It additionally features a plan to diligently assess their prospects’ intentions for his or her merchandise and work on technological options to scale back the dangers of robotic weaponization.

    “We’re satisfied that the advantages for humanity of those applied sciences strongly outweigh the chance of misuse, and we’re excited a few vivid future through which people and robots work facet by facet to deal with a number of the world’s challenges,” the letter concludes.

    Supply: Boston Dynamics

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