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Robotics and AI are taking over, not necessarily a good thing

Killer robot

What could possibly go wrong with autonomous killer robots?

Robots do many useful things. However, they are replacing jobs once held by carbon-based lifeforms. This may be one reason the employment rate isn’t recovering. The standard argument here is those displaced people will find new jobs created by new technology. However, jobs making robots just aren’t going to be that plentiful.

This trend emerged during the most recent recession (February 2008 – February 2010) and isn’t stopping any time soon. According to data from the Associated Press on the labor market during the recession, industries that pay middle class wages lost 7.5 million jobs. Despite the economic recovery, only 3.5 million jobs have reappeared. This begs the question, where did 4 million jobs disappear to after the recession ended? AI seem to be one of the primary culprits, since the time period when the jobs went missing corresponds to increased levels of AI use by businesses.

Autonomous robotic killing machines are a really bad idea. Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and other say they should be banned. “Newsflash, Sep. 1, 2030. The Pentagon apologized to the residents of a small town in Iraq after a supposedly fail-safe RobotWarror deployment malfunctioned, identifying an orphanage as a terrorist encampment and destroyed it.” And won’t it be fun when drug cartels get such weapons too?

The signatories argued that the deployment of robots capable of killing while untethered to human operators is “feasible within years, not decades.” If development is not cut off, it is only a matter of time before the weapons end up in the hands of terrorists and warlords, they said.

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