Say hello to our new robot overlords

From the UK Guardian:

Skynet is about to attack. Maybe
Thursday, 21 April 2011 is the day when Skynet, villainous super-computer from the Terminator films, is due to launch its assault on mankind. Terminator director James Cameron alerted the world to the significance of the date with a tweet saying: "Instead of machines taking over, we have the very real threat of global warming."

But hold on there James, don't downplay your own prescience. We can worry about global warming and the possibility that robots are going to kill us all. An MoD report has just this week warned that we're heading for an "incremental and involuntary journey towards a Terminator-like reality." The report, the UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems, says that, given the current rate technological development, "Britain must quickly establish a policy on what will constitute 'acceptable machine behaviour'".

Now as any good science fiction fan knows, "acceptable machine behaviour" has already been established in Asimov's three rules of robotics, the first of which states unambiguously: "A robot may not injure a human being." The military has chosen to completely ignore Asimov's rules (understandably perhaps, given how useless pacifist robots would be in a war), but the Terminator films at least gives us some ideas on how to fight back when our drones go self-aware and turn against us (we're going to need a time machine and a robotic Arnold Schwarzenegger).

James needs to stick to movies and drop the global warming crap. Great storyteller and visionary though...

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 20, 2011 8:07 PM.

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