Artificial Intelligence or AI is transforming our society and impacting our day to day lives in many areas. AI and automation in general will probably continue to improve and change our way of living in many ways. But the challenges with artificial intelligence systems are unique, and the risks involved in AI cannot be overstated. One such pressing issue that is already manifesting itself today, is the use of artificial intelligence in the creation of LAWs… And they are not what you may think!
In the context of AI, LAWs, stands short for Lethal Autonomous Weapons. It is rather an unfortunate and confusing acronym but also goes by with many not so popular names such as: Robotic weapons, autonomous weapon systems, killer robots, slaughter-bots, etc. They are autonomous military systems that can independently search for and engage targets without human intervention.
In the history of military warfare, the invention of gun powder is considered to be the first revolution. Nuclear weapons are considered to be the second revolution. And autonomous weapons may very well be the third revolution.
LAWs may operate in the air…On land….On water…Under water….And even in space. The Pentagon wants to invest close to $1 billion in AI and machine learning, including $268 million for the new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center for AI tools. With the development of AI systems, drones that can autonomously find and eliminate a targeted individual are only years away not decades. Artificial Intelligence systems for drone technology are improving rapidly. At this point, the issue is not with hardware but with software, meaning how fast new AI algorithms can be developed and be implemented for certain military purposes.
A Quadcopter for example does not have to be equipped with a heavy machine gun to engage its target. A drone geared with a pocket pistol sized gun targeting vulnerable parts of the human body such as the eye-balls, could be and will be probably used for assassinations.
We’re about to enter a new age of Artificial Intelligence technology where high profile individuals’ security, will be increasingly at risk from multiple simultaneous autonomous drone attacks.