I’m currently laptopless at the moment and it’s hard to write a proper post on my phone. I just want to note something I learned today really quick:
– The open letter to ban autonomous weapons, released yesterday (July 28, 2015) at IJCAI conference, has received 16567 supporting signatures. The open letter’s supporters include big names like Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, Stuart Russell, etc. together with 22 DeepMind researchers. I have heard about existential threats posed by Artificial Intelligence for ages, but I have never really understood exactly where those threats come from. Now I know that autonomous weapons are one of the sources.
Autonomous weapons select and engage targets without human intervention. They might include, for example, armed quadcopters that can search for and eliminate people meeting certain pre-defined criteria, but do not include cruise missiles or remotely piloted drones for which humans make all targeting decisions. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is — practically if not legally — feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms.
– Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google, predicted that by 2029 we will have computers that feel. He said in a 2013 interview that our computers will have emotional intelligence, “being funny, getting the joke, being sexy, being loving, understanding human emotion“. Isn’t that nice to have a being full of positive sentiments? Will there be robots that are hateful, depressed, jealous, vengeful too?