Watch out for ‘killer robots,’ UC Berkeley professor warns in video
In a dread-inducing video released this month, a UC Berkeley professor issues a sobering warning to the world: beware of killer robots.
Source: Patrick May
Stuart Russell, a computer science professor, says at the end of the 7:47-minute sci-fi clip that a world filled with tiny drones that can seek out and kill people could be just around the corner and that we must act to prevent it.
“This short film is more than just speculation; it shows the results of integrating and miniaturizing technologies that we already have,” Russell warns in a scary voice. The release of the video by the Future of Life Institute earlier this month coincided with the first formal United Nations conference dedicated to preventing the creation and use of so-called “killer robots” and other lethal autonomous weapons systems. Russell and other experts in artificial intelligence teamed up with advocacy groups to produce the video, titled “Slaughterbots,” and the clip has gone viral ever since.
Depicting a future where swarms of small affordable drones can murder their targets with very little human input, the film released by Russell and the Institute, an institution backed by Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, is meant to alarm us. Artificial intelligence’s “potential to benefit humanity is enormous, even in defense, but allowing machines to choose to kill humans will be devastating to our security and freedom,” Russell says in the clip. “Thousands of my fellow researchers agree. But the window to act is closing fast.”
On its website, the Institute said the film was released “in response to growing concerns about autonomous weapons” and it “depicts a disturbing future in which lethal autonomous weapons have become cheap and ubiquitous.” It was launched in Geneva where Russell presented it at an event at the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons hosted by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.