We have all witnessed movies such as iRobot, The Machine, The Terminator, The Matrix and even the Time Machine. Many of these settings portray an often futuristic, dystopian society where humanity is pitted against artificial intelligence in a war for survival. Technology in these films are often revered as far more capable than humans, in a multitude of skills, strength and mind. And we are often seen as succumbing to these feats. Although a horrific thought sweeps through our minds upon watching these films, the concepts are not as farfetched as we may believe afterwards. Robots are frequently being developed to do a number of things in society and has not failed to replace humans in a number of different jobs. For example, the NY city subway has replaced many tellers with kiosks which is also the case at grocery stores with self checkout machines. For years robots have been used in automation in factories and are constantly being upgraded to provide more efficiency and better features.
It is no wonder that researchers from KAIST, a public university in Daejeon, South Korea, have been developing artificial intelligence technologies to be applied to military weapons; joining the global competition to develop autonomous arms. KAISR is researching the most efficient and effective ways of making military grade AI weaponry. However, robotics experts from nearly 30 different countries have collaborated on an open letter to call for a boycott against this project. AI experts claim that KAIST developed a “front facility” called the Research Center for the Convergence of National Defense and Artificial Intelligence to continue development of suh weapons even though the UN is making attempts at safeguarding the world against killer AI. To combat KAIST’s new project researchers from different countries are boycotting the university until the president declares their execution of the killer AI project. There is a fear that such development could lead to a third revolution in warfare as these weapons would encourage war. There is an ethical concern with this as terrorists could use these to decimate innocent populations. KAIST has in the past had a reputable stance in technology and should instead focus their work on AI devices that improve life instead of harm it.