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Armaments: The spectre of Terminator unsettles NATO and the scientific community

Translated Saturday 5 September 2015, by Adrian Jordan

Killer robots that can act without human intervention – unlike remotely controlled drones. Their possible development and use increasingly unsettle the United Nations and the scientific community.

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is — practically if not legally — feasible within years”, warns a joint letter by thousands of researchers and professors from Harvard, Berkeley, Cambridge, Paris and Berlin.

These researchers are particularly concerned that the machines will not be able to recognise the difference between civilians and combatants, or even worse, will be programmed to carry out targeted attacks [1] on certain populations.

For them the danger of such a scenario is possible for two principle reasons: the military seeing this type of arm as a way to reduce human casualties. And governments hoping a new arms race will be a boost to industry.

[1Translator’s note:. This slight change from the French text, which would have been translated “disproportionate attacks”, comes from the actual letter, along with the quote itself.

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