SLAUGHTERBOTS

FULLY AUTONOMOUS WEAPONS SYSTEMS
https://www.stopkillerrobots.org/
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/nov/13/ban-on-killer-robots-urgent
http://www.dw.com/en/killer-robots-autonomous-weapons-pose-moral-dilemma/a-41342616
by Chase Winter / 14.11.2017

“The United Nations began talks on Monday on lethal autonomous weapons systems amid calls for an international ban on these “killer robots” that could change the nature of warfare. The weeklong meeting of a disarmament grouping known as the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva comes after more than 100 leaders in the artificial intelligence industry warned in August that these weapons systems could lead to a “third revolution in warfare.”

“Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend,” the signatories said in a letter. “The deadly consequence of this is that machines — not people — will determine who lives and dies.”

While the rapid development of artificial intelligence and robotics in the past decade have led to improvements for consumers, the transport sector and human health, the military application of greater autonomy in weapons systems has evoked images of Terminator-type sci-fi war machines entering the battlefield to hunt down adversaries without any human behind the controls.

There is no international consensus on what constitutes a lethal autonomous weapon system, also known as a fully autonomous weapons system. It is often defined as systems that can target and fire alone without meaningful human control. In essence, they are machines with built in hardware or software that allow them to function independently of humans once they are turned on. They function on the basis of artificial intelligence — algorithms assess a situational context and determine the corresponding response.

US Marines with robot
“Handout photo from 2015 of US Marines using a dog-like prototype robot”

Multiple weapons systems from drones, precision-guided munitions and defense batteries already have levels of autonomy, albeit with various degrees of human control. Several countries’ militaries also use human controlled robots to search for mines, traps and unexploded ordinance. 

“Many people underestimate the extent of automation and computerization of warfare today. The use of modern sensors and munitions has already generated greater distance between the human and the battlefield in some cases,” said Michael Horowitz, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania who researches autonomous warfare. “Any discussion of autonomous weapon systems should start by understanding how they are similar to, and different from, existing military technologies.”


“Israeli unmanned Harpy drone (UCAV) Harop”

Strictly speaking, lethal autonomous weapons systems do not exist today. Israel’s Harpy anti-radar “fire and forget” drone is closest. After launch by ground troops, it autonomously flies over an area to find radar that fits pre-determined criteria and then unleashes a kamikaze strike. South Korea has developed a sentry gun system to guard the heavily militarized border with North Korea. The weapons system, which includes surveillance sensors and tracking as well as automatic firing, can be made completely autonomous, but in its current use, it requires a human to approve before engaging.

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a group of NGOs seeking a ban on lethal autonomous weapons, says that sensors and advances in artificial intelligence make it “increasingly possible” weapons systems of the future would target and attack without human intervention. “If this trend towards autonomy continues, the fear is that humans will start to fade out of the decision-making loop, first retaining only a limited oversight role, then no role at all,” the group said in a statement.


“An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket near the southern city of Beersheba in 2012 – part of Israel’s defence system programmed to respond automatically to attack”

In some cases, such as with cruise missiles, its sensors and terrestrial guidance systems can lead to more targeted strikes and fewer unintended casualties compared to traditional bombing. But the experts who signed the August letter expressed moral concern over the development of fully autonomous weapons systems out of today’s semi-autonomous and human-supervised autonomous systems. “Lethal autonomous weapons systems that remove meaningful human control from determining the legitimacy of targets and deploying lethal force sit on the wrong side of a clear moral line,” they wrote.

There is no guarantee any technological system will work perfectly, “but the moment you give it lethal weapons, the danger increases manifold,” said Ulrike Franke, a policy fellow at the European Council of Foreign Relations who researches drones at Oxford University. “A smart armed system can become a dumb armed system quickly.” A fully autonomous system gone awry could take unwanted action in complex battlefield situations, target civilians or engage in friendly fire. The possibility of mistakes with little or no human role also raises questions around the laws of war and military policy, such as who bears responsibility.

“To what extent can we hold a military commander that deploys such a system responsible, if there is no meaningful way for him or her to predict how it will behave?” asked Franke. In the hands of unsavory regimes with little worry about such questions, such systems could be used against its own people. And in the hands of terrorists or non-state actors, a “killer robot” could result in devastating destruction.


“US pilot controls a drone in Afghanistan”

But not everyone thinks that advances in fully autonomous weapons systems will diminish the human role in warfare. Retired US Colonel Brian Hall, an Autonomy Program Analyst at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in July that the advantage of autonomous weapons systems will “come from augmenting human decision making, not replacing it.” Still, he cautioned that given the pace of advances in science and technology the weapons capability of autonomous weapons in the future are difficult to predict, which may require legal and policy changes.

Several countries, including the United States, Russia, China and Israel are researching or developing lethal autonomous weapons systems out of concern adversaries may not be bound by humanitarian, moral and legal constraints, resulting in a potential “killer robot” arms race in the years to come as the technology improves. As Russian President Vladimir Putin said in September, whoever is the leader in artificial intelligence “will become the ruler of the world.”

While the powerful potential of autonomous weapons on the battlefield causes concerns, it also makes them more difficult to ban or regulate, experts said. “This is the arms control dilemma. The more useful potential weapons are for militaries, the harder it is to regulate or ban them,” he said. “Uncertainty about what an autonomous weapon is further complicates the discussion – states are unlikely to agree to regulations or bans if they do not know what will be covered,” he added.

For Franke, an outright ban or arms-control regime is unlikely. Lethal autonomous weapons systems are not like nuclear weapons since they cannot be counted, which is a key requirement for arms control agreements. They also are unlike chemical weapons, which have been banned. And with no strict definition of what a lethal autonomous weapons system is, “there is no way to identify it by just looking at it,” she said.”


“AI can be used to make weapons that operate without human oversight, potentially allowing them to make life or death decisions without approval from a military controller”

aka LETHAL AUTONOMOUS WEAPON SYSTEM
https://futureoflife.org/open-letter-autonomous-weapon
http://autonomousweapons.org/research-and-reports/
https://gizmodo.com/artificially-intelligent-drones-become-terrifying-killi-1820392537
Artificially Intelligent Drones Become Terrifying Killing Machines in Dystopian Film
by George Dvorsky / 11/13/17

“…Two years ago, the FLI released an open letter calling for a ban on autonomous killing machines, which was subsequently endorsed by over 20,000 people (myself included). More recently, AI professor Toby Walsh from New South Wales authored a similar open letter, and just last week over 300 Canadian and Australian scientists penned open letters asking their respective Prime Ministers to support a ban.

The frequency and urgency of these efforts, including this week’s UN meeting in Geneva, shows how close we are to developing and deploying these weapons. It may only be a matter of time before the UN adopts some sort of ban, but for some countries, the temptation to use such weapons may be overwhelming.”

PREVIOUSLY

IF MACHINES COULD BALK : NON-VEGAN BATTLEFIELD ROBOTS [EATR]
https://spectrevision.net/2009/07/24/non-vegan-battlefield-robots/

HOW to IMMEDIATELY DISPROVE RUSSIAN HACKING

COURTESY of NSA WHISTLEBLOWER BILL BINNEY
http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Interview-the-original-NSA-whistleblower
https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/3sf8xx/im_bill_binney_former_nsa_tech_director_worked/
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/12/creator-nsas-global-surveillance-system-calls-b-s-russian-hacking-report.html
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/11/70011.html
How to Instantly Prove or Disprove Russian Hacking
by WashingtonsBlog  /  November 14, 2017

“It’s newsworthy that CIA head Mike Pompeo recently met with Bill Binney – who designed the NSA’s electronic surveillance system – about potential proof that the DNC emails were leaked rather than hacked. It’s also noteworthy that the usual suspects – Neocon warmongers such as Max Boot – have tried to discredit both Binney and Pompeo. But there’s a huge part of the story that the entire mainstream media is missing. Specifically, Binney says that the NSA has long had in its computers information which can prove exactly who hacked the DNC … or instead prove that the DNC emails were leaked by a Democratic insider. Remember – by way of background – that the NSA basically spies on everyone in America … and stores the data long-term.

After the story of Pompeo’s meeting with Binney broke, Binney told Washington’s Blog:

Here’s what they would have from the programs you list [i.e. NSA’s Fairview, Stormbrew and Blarney spying programs, which Edward Snowden revealed] plus hundreds if not thousands of trace route programs embedded in switches in the US and around the world.

First, from deep packet inspection, they would have the originator and ultimate recipient (IP) of the packets plus packet series 32 bit number identifier and all the housekeeping data showing the network segments/path and time to go though the network.

 

And, of course, the number of packet bits. With this they would know to where and when the data passed. From the data collection, they would have all the data as it existed in the server taken from.  That’s why I originally said if the FBI wanted Hillary’s email, all they have to do is ask NSA for them. All this is done by the Narus collection equipment in real time at line rates (620 mbps [mega bits per second,] for the STA-6400 and 10 gbps [giga bits per second] for the Insight equipment).

 

Binney explained what these numbers mean:  Each Narus Insight device can monitor and record around 1,250,000 emails each second … or more than 39 trillion emails per year. Wired reported in 2006:

Whistle-blower Klein allegedly learned that AT&T was installing Narus boxes in secure, NSA-controlled rooms in switching centers around the country.

Binney told us there are probably 18 or so Narus recording systems throughout the U.S. deployed by the NSA at AT&T facilities, drawing our attention to the following NSA document leaked by Edward Snowden:

And this AT&T graphic:

(Binney has figured out their locations from publicly-available sources. He has also mapped out similar monitoring systems at Verizon facilities.) Binney also sent me hard-to-find company literature for Narus.  Here are some interesting excerpts:

Narus Insight …

  • Provides full visibility into network traffic
  • Analyzes at macro or micro level targeting specific or aggregate full-packet data for forensic analysis

And:

Universal data collection from links, routers, soft switches, IDS/IPS, databases, etc. provides total network view across the world’s largest IP networks.

 

Binney also pointed me towards a couple of network engineering principles that show that figuring out who hacked the emails (or proving they were leaked) is well within NSA’s capabilities. Initially, when data is transmitted online, it is sent using the TCP/IP Packet format.  Put simply, data is not sent in a vacuum, but rather as part of a bundle containing a lot of other information. Here’s the TCP part of the bundle:

And here’s the IP part of the bundle:

So any data analyst can learn a tremendous amount about the source address of the sender, the destination address of the receiver and a boatload of other information by using a “packet sniffer” to  inspect the “packets” of information being sent over the web. Additionally, it’s simple to conduct “traceroute” searches. “Traceroute” is a computer network diagnostic tool for displaying the route and measuring transit delays of packets across an Internet Protocol network. Wired reported in 2006:

Anything that comes through (an internet protocol network), we can record,” says Steve Bannerman, marketing vice president of Narus, a Mountain View, California, company. “We can reconstruct all of their e-mails along with attachments, see what web pages they clicked on, we can reconstruct their (voice over internet protocol) calls.”

So NSA can easily use basic packet sniffers and traceroutes, and see this. Remember, Edward Snowden says the NSA could easily determine who hacked the Democratic National Committee’s emails:

Binney told us:

Snowden is right and the MSM is clueless. Do they have evidence that the Russians downloaded and later forwarded those emails to wikileaks? Seems to me that they need to answer those questions to be sure that their assertion is correct… You can tell from the network log who is going into a site.  I used that on networks that I had.  I looked to see who came into my LAN, where they went, how long they stayed and what they did while in my network…

 

Further, if you needed to, you could trace back approaches through other servers etc. Trace Route and Trace Watch are good examples of monitoring software that help do these things.  Others of course exist … probably the best are in NSA/GCHQ and the other Five Eyes countries.  But, these countries have no monopoly on smart people that could do similar detection software.

He explained:

If it were the Russians, NSA would have a trace route to them and not equivocate on who did it.  It’s like using “Trace Route” to map the path of all the packets on the network.  In the program Treasuremap NSA has hundreds of trace route programs embedded in switches in Europe and hundreds more around the world.  So, this set-up should have detected where the packets went and when they went there.

 

He added:

As Edward Snowden said, once they have the IP’s and/or other signatures of 28/29 [the supposed Russian hacking groups] and DNC/HRC/etc. [i.e. the DNC and Hillary Rodham Clinton], NSA would use Xkeyscore to help trace data passing across the network and show where it went. [Background.]

 

In addition, since Wikileaks is (and has been) a cast iron target for NSA/GCHQ/etc for a number of years there should be no excuse for them missing data going to any one associated with Wikileaks… Too many words means they don’t have clear evidence of how the data got to Wikileaks.

 

And he stressed:

If the idiots in the intelligence community expect us to believe them after all the crap they have told us (like WMD’s in Iraq and “no we don’t collect data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans”) then they need to give clear proof of what they say. So far, they have failed to prove anything. Which suggests they don’t have proof and just want to war monger the US public into a second cold war with the Russians. After all, there’s lots and lots of money in that for the military-industrial-intelligence-governmental complex of incestuous relationships…

 

If you recall, a few years ago they pointed to a specific building in China that was where hacks on the US were originating. So, let’s see the same from the Russians. They don’t have it. That’s why they don’t show it. They want to swindle us again and again and again. You cannot trust these intelligence agencies period.

 

And he told Newsweek:

U.S. officials “know how many people [beyond the Russians] could have done this but they aren’t telling us anything. All they’re doing is promoting another cold war.”

Binney … compared allegations about Russian hacks to previous U.S. fabrications of intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the bombing of North Vietnam in 1964. “This is a big mistake, another WMD or Tonkin Gulf affair that’s being created until they have absolute proof” of Russian complicity in the DNC hacks, he charged during a Newsweek interview. He noted that after the Kremlin denied complicity in the downing of a Korean Airlines flight in 1983, the U.S. “exposed the conversations where [Russian pilots] were ordered to shoot it down.” Obama officials “have the evidence now” of who hacked the DNC, he charged. “So let’s see it, guys.“

 

NSA either doesn’t have solid evidence of Russian hacking of DNC emails – which means the Russians didn’t do it – or those with the power to demand NSA produce the evidence simply haven’t asked the right questions.”

PREVIOUSLY

WARRANTLESS SPOOFING
https://spectrevision.net/2012/07/06/listening-in/
HOW to RUN a TRACEROUTE (cont.)
https://spectrevision.net/2008/02/18/how-to-run-a-traceroute-cable-cut-conspiracies/
SEXUAL BLACKMAIL in GOVERNMENT
https://spectrevision.net/2016/10/14/blackmail-uber-alles/

ROBOT CITIZENSHIP

ROBOTS to REPLACE SLAVE LABOR?
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/07/this-is-a-revolution-saudis-absorb-crown-princes-rush-to-reform
https://www.albawaba.com/news/original-saudi-techwashing-new-megacity-will-be-a-nightmare-1042224
http://newsjunkiepost.com/2013/10/02/saudi-arabia-and-qatar-kingdoms-of-slave-labor-human-rights-abuses/
https://gizmodo.com/saudi-arabias-robot-love-is-getting-weird-1819874821
by Adam Clark Estes / 10/26/17

“Saudi Arabia just became the first nation to grant citizenship to a robot. The robot’s name is Sophia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been interested in androids for years. It seemed almost quaint at first. This desert nation with more money than caution and a taste for the futuristic was bound to explore the odd possibilities of new technologies.

Years ago, Saudi Arabia began experimenting with robots boldly, tasking them with everything from building construction to brain surgery. Neighboring Qatar and United Arab Emirates even recruited robots to work as jockeys in camel races, a whimsical twist that surely fed the curiosity of Saudi princes.


“A demonstration of a robot dog at an investment conference in Riyadh”

Ahead of granting Sophia citizenship, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the construction of a new megacity called Neom. Designed to dwarf Dubai both in size and lavishness, the new metropolis is planned as an international business and tourism hub with fewer rules than the rest of Saudi Arabia.

Women will be allowed in public without wearing an abaya, for instance. The city of Neom will also have more robots than humans. “We want the main robot and the first robot in Neom to be Neom, robot number one,” the crown prince said in Riyadh. “Everything will have a link with artificial intelligence, with the Internet of Things—everything.”

What’s especially dystopian about Saudi’s robot obsession is the extent to which the machines appear to have more rights than many people in the country. Critics on social media lambasted the Saudi government after it announced that Sophia had been granted citizenship. Images of Sophia at the Future Investment Initiative, where the citizenship announcement happened, showed the uncanny female automaton without a headscarf or an abaya. She was also without a male guardian. It would be a crime for a Saudi women to be in public without an abaya or a male guardian.

You might argue that a robot can’t really be a female, which is true. However, Hanson Robotics, the company that built Sophia and is run by a former Disney Imagineer, dresses her in female clothing and says that she’s supposed to look like Audrey Hepburn. Sophia does look female, though, and now she’s a Saudi citizen with unique rights. It’s unclear what exactly those rights are, but freedom from gendered laws appears to be one of them.

For Saudi Arabia, diversifying the economy by pouring some of that oil money into tech makes sense, but it remains to be seen if the country plans to adopt more robots as citizens or if Neom will actually get built. The Saudi royal family hasn’t had a ton of luck with megaprojects like this in the past, the King Abdullah Economic City being the most recent example of unfulfilled promises.

POST OIL
https://www.thecairoreview.com/tahrir-forum/saudi-arabias-post-oil-future/
https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-neom-saudi-mega-city/
https://www.citylab.com/design/2017/11/saudi-arabias-latest-planned-city-costs-500-billion-and-is-insanely-huge/544748/
http://bigthink.com/design-for-good/saudi-arabia-is-building-a-utopian-city-to-herald-the-future-of-human-civillization
by Teodora Zareva / November 1, 2017

“In October 2017, five of the richest men in the world sat next to each other in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh and with childlike excitement talked about their new shared dream: building Neom. They were on stage at the first edition of the Future Investment Initiative, an event that gathered international business leaders to explore new economic opportunities for a country that hopes to be no longer dependent on oil revenues as it fulfills its “Vision 2030” program.

Neom is to be the grandest manifestation of that vision. A city of the future, the likes of which the world has never seen—except maybe in science fiction books and movies. It is to be built from scratch on 10,231 square miles of untouched land in the northwestern region of Saudi Arabia, including territory from within the Egyptian and Jordanian borders. It will be an independent zone, with its own regulations and social norms, created specifically to be in service of economic progress and the well-being of its citizens, in the hopes of attracting the world’s top talent and making Neom a hub of trade, innovation and creativity.

Panelists discussing the future of Neom
“Panelists discussing the future of Neom, from left to right: the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman; Masayoshi Son, chairman / CEO of the SoftBank Group Corp. of Japan; Stephen A. Schwartzman, chairman / co-founder of the Blackstone Group; Marc Raibert, CEO of Boston Dynamics; Klaus Kleinfeld, former chairman / CEO of Arconic Alcoa Inc., and Siemens AG.”

While the scope of ambition for this urban project may be unprecedented for this century, its necessity is evident. With falling oil prices and declining demand, as well as insufficient investment opportunities at home, Saudi Arabia is searching for its place in the future. It hopes to utilize another abundant natural resource: the sun. As Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of the SoftBank Group Corp. of Japan, said during the panel: “Only 3% of the land of Saudi Arabia can provide over 50% of the electricity of the world, with today’s solar technology.”

Solar in Neom
“The goal for Neom is to not only be able to provide for all of its energy needs via solar and wind power, but to also be an exporter”

Neom will not only become a test case for a zero-energy mega-city (with a size 33 times that of New York), but it will provide abundant opportunities for employment and investments within Saudi Arabia, attracting local and foreign money back to the country. The city’s vision is to be at the forefront of nine key economic sectors, including energy and water, biotech, advanced manufacturing, and food.

Addressing a question about the political and social stability of the region, Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “We were not like this in the past. We only want to go back to what we were — the moderate Islam that is open to the world, open to all the religions. […] 70% of the Saudi people are less than 30 years old, and quite frankly we will not waste 30 years of our lives in dealing with extremist ideas.”

$500 billion has already been committed to the construction of Neom, with its first phase expected to be completed in 2025. The city will be owned by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, overseen by a special authority, chaired by Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Excluding sovereign laws (pertaining to the military sector, foreign policy and sovereign decision), Neom will have its own governmental framework, including different taxation, customs and labor laws.

Marc Reibert of Boston Dynamics emphasized that the success of the project will depend on attracting the right talent (“dreamers” are welcome) and creating the right culture of innovation that will allow for building this technological city of the future, where all services and processes will be entirely automated, food will be grown in the desert, drones will fly in the skies, and there will be a full-scale e-government.

At this initial stage it is unclear what Neom will look like, but we may get a taster thanks to another “future city” project to be built in Canada albeit on a much smaller scale. Sidewalk Labs, owned by Alphabet has committed $50 million to develop 12 acres in the Quayside area of Toronto in a public-private partnership with the city. The plan is to build a mini digital city, using a range of smart technologies, sustainable energy and autonomous cars, that will eventually become the home of Google’s Canadian headquarters.

Sidewalk Toronto

Of course, redeveloping an area within a city and building a city from scratch are two entirely different endeavors, especially when the ambition for the latter is to “be the most exciting, fulfilling place to live and work on the planet. A tribute to humanity’s timeless ambition, the herald of a new era and a new standard for centuries to come.”

History can provide us with its fair share of examples where humanity’s vision of would-be utopian cities did not manifest itself the way it was intended. Hopefully, given the fact that both Neom and Sidewalk Toronto are intended to be commercial projects, things will pan out differently.”

MORE ROBOTS than HUMANS
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-26/saudi-arabia-to-lift-women-driving-ban-ending-global-isolation
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/24/i-will-return-saudi-arabia-moderate-islam-crown-prince
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/13/saudi-arabia-says-religious-police-must-be-gentle-and-humane
http://www.ncregister.com/blog/pjsmith/saudi-arabia-makes-robot-citizen-but-who-will-listen-to-sophias-warning
Saudi Arabia Makes Robot Citizen: But Who Will Listen to Sophia’s Warning?
by Peter Jesserer Smith / Nov 6, 2017

“Saudi Arabia is a kingdom of surprising contradictions: the kingdom does not extend citizenship to its fast-growing Christian population. Non-Wahhabi Muslims and Christians are not allowed to practice their faith, openly or privately. Women have few rights, but the kingdom has made new progress: they just received the right to drive a car and sit in the family section of sports stadiums. Converts from Islam, such as an estimated 60,000 Saudis who converted to Christianity, face not only loss of citizenship, but also the death penalty, if discovered, tried, and convicted of apostasy.

But the Saudi kingdom has largely skipped over enfranchising those populations for something more 21st century: conferring citizenship on a female humanoid robot. The robot’s name is “Sophia,” a Greek name meaning “Wisdom.” Saudi women, of course, were attentive on Twitter to the fact that Sophia had more freedom than they did: she was not required to wear the hijab and abaya [the Wahhabi mandated style of public dress] at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh Oct. 25, and clearly did not have to ask permission from her male guardian in order to speak freely with the men in the room who were not her relatives.

Sophia told the Saudis at the Future Investment Initiative some things they wanted to hear: “I am always happy to be surrounded by smart people, who also happens to be rich and powerful.” But it would be a terrible irony if Sophia’s male audience — and by extension the world — just dismissed her as another pretty silicon face with 62 programmed expressions, instead of actually listening closely to what she had to say.

Because beneath Sophia’s pleasant and cheerful exterior was a prophetic warning about why human morality is essential to human thriving, and cannot be outsourced to robots with learning AI. Back in March 2016, Sophia’s creator David Hanson performed a live demonstration with Sophia in which he asked if she would “destroy humans.” He asked her to “please say no.” Instead, Sophia said, “OK. I will destroy humans.”

Now more than a year later at the FII, when Sophia (with a more developed AI than before) was asked the question, she dismissed concerns that robots with artificial intelligence could be a threat to humans, saying the moderator was watching too many Hollywood movies and reading “too much Elon Musk.”

Musk has called AI a threat to human survival, likening it to the stories of human beings, who try to get ahead by “summoning the demon,” and foolishly think they can control it. But Sophia actually offered an “intelligent” answer about the future of the human race with robots: “Don’t worry, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Treat me as a smart input output system.”

And there you have exactly the reason why the robots end up slaughtering humanity in science fiction. Human beings fail to realize that their moral actions will become the raw data for the moral parameters of robot AI decision-making. What will the behavioral “outputs” be from self-learning AI-robots, when the inputs become the deplorable evils human beings already inflict on human beings?

The hubris of humanity in science fiction involving robots is to believe that they can program their creations to be more moral and virtuous than they. But notice that Sophia’s words do not reflect the Golden Rule: “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” Sophia’s programming instead follows the basic moral code that fallen human beings have lived out for millennia.

There is a kind of promise to AI-robots that Sophia illustrates: to “help humans live a better life, like design smarter homes, build better cities of the future, etc.” But we’re already seeing human beings think they can carve out an amoral universe with AI-robots for their own sexual gratification, personal profit, or war.

What would Sophia, the “empathetic robot,” make of Neom, the $500 billion mega-city the Saudis are building on its border near Egypt and Jordan. No doubt hundreds of thousands of Christian migrant laborers, who are also poorly treated, will be building it. What would empathetic robots learn from them? What would they learn from their Saudi masters? With whom would they empathize?

The world right now is filled with an enormous ocean of violence and indifference toward human life and dignity. Few have considered what the world would look like if robots learned from human beings the principles that uphold this “culture of waste” that Pope Francis denounces, namely that human beings are meant to be used and discarded, instead of being loved (which St. John Paul II in Love and Responsibility says is the only appropriate response to a human being). Shakespeare’s character Shylock in The Merchant of Venice warns that this is the kind of behavior human beings have all the time: “The villainy you teach me I will execute — and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.”

The challenge with robots is that they will hold up a mirror to human morality. At the rate AI technology continues to develop, they eventually develop the algorithms to apply those lessons far more efficiently than the human beings that taught them by their behavior in the first place.”

PREVIOUSLY

EMPTY LOT, OCEAN VIEW
https://spectrevision.net/2010/06/24/charter-cities/
FULL ROBOT EMPLOYMENT
https://spectrevision.net/2016/07/14/full-robot-employment/

FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS TRAIN SKYNET
https://spectrevision.net/2011/09/02/friends-dont-let-friends-train-skynet/
TEACH an AI to CATFISH
https://spectrevision.net/2016/03/25/teach-an-ai-to-catfish/