Image: Noah Nelson

Skynet Watch: New Study Warns of Drone Arms Race

on Wednesday, Apr. 23rd

We’ve all seen this movie, heck, Hollywood is in the process of rebooting it right now: militaries, in order to keep soldiers out of harm’s way and stay ahead of the other guy invest in autonomous fighting systems. Cue Judgement Day.

If only this were pure sci-fi. A new study by researcher Steve Omohundro published in the Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence warns of the potential for an AI arms race to get out of control.

From Kurzweil AI:

“The military wants systems which are more powerful than an adversary’s and wants to deploy them before the adversary does,” Omohundro writes. ”This can lead to ‘arms races’ in which systems are developed on a more rapid time schedule than might otherwise be desired.

“There is a growing realization that drone technology is inexpensive and widely available, so we should expect escalating arms races of offensive and defensive drones. This will put pressure on designers to make the drones more autonomous so they can make decisions more rapidly.”

Remember kids: there’s no John Connor and no time machine to warn us.


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