AI News, Why teach drone pilots about ethics when it’s robots that will kill us? | Andrew Brown

Why teach drone pilots about ethics when it’s robots that will kill us? | Andrew Brown

They can also serve in the six other places where we’re officially at war, not to mention the 133 countries where special operations forces have conducted missions in just the first half of 2018.

By embracing the latest tools that the tech industry has to offer, the US military is creating a more automated form of warfare – one that will greatly increase its capacity to wage war everywhere forever.

Jedi is an ambitious project to build a cloud computing system that serves US forces all over the world, from analysts behind a desk in Virginia to soldiers on patrol in Niger.

By pooling the military’s data into a modern cloud platform, and using the machine-learning services that such platforms provide to analyze that data, Jedi will help the Pentagon realize its AI ambitions.

So far, the reporting on the Pentagon’s AI spending spree has largely focused on the prospect of autonomous weapons – Terminator-style killer robots that mow people down without any input from a human operator.

With a military budget larger than that of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, Britain and Japan combined, and some 800 bases around the world, the US has an abundance of firepower and an unparalleled ability to deploy that firepower anywhere on the planet.

The vagueness of the enemy is what has enabled the conflict to continue for nearly two decades and to expand to more than 70 countries – a boon to the contractors, bureaucrats and politicians who make their living from US militarism.

Its initial phase involves using machine learning to scan drone video footage to help identify individuals, vehicles and buildings that might be worth bombing.

“We have analysts looking at full-motion video, staring at screens 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 hours at a time,” says the project director, Lt Gen Jack Shanahan.

There is no shortage of horror stories of what happens when human oversight is outsourced to faulty or prejudiced algorithms – algorithms that can’t recognize black faces, or that reinforce racial bias in policing and criminal sentencing.

These are drone attacks on individuals whose identities are unknown, but who are suspected of being militants based on displaying certain “signatures” – which can be as vague as being a military-aged male in a particular area.

AI promises to find those enemies faster – even if all it takes to be considered an enemy is exhibiting a pattern of behavior that a (classified) machine-learning model associates with hostile activity.

But algorithmic warfare will bring big tech deeper into the military-industrial complex, and give billionaires like Jeff Bezos a powerful incentive to ensure the forever war lasts forever.

Why Banning Killer AI Is Easier Said Than Done

As we head deeper into the 21st century, the prospect of getting robots to do the dirty business of killing gets closer with each passing day.

In Max Tegmark’s new book, Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, the MIT physicist and founder of the Future of Life Institute contemplates this seemingly scifi possibility, weighing the potential benefits of autonomous machines in warfare with the tremendous risks.

Gizmodo is excited to share an exclusive excerpt from Life 3.0, in which Tegmark discusses the pros and cons of outsourcing life-and-death decision making to a machine, a recent initiative to institute an international ban on autonomous killing machines, and why it’ll be so difficult for the United States to relinquish this prospective technology.

also known by their opponents as “killer robots”) can hopefully be made more fair and rational than human soldiers: equipped with superhuman sensors and unafraid of getting killed, they might remain cool, calculating and level-headed even in the heat of battle, and be less likely to accidentally kill civilians.

Subsequent investigation implicated a confusing user interface that didn’t automatically show which dots on the radar screen were civilian planes (Flight 655 followed its regular daily flight path and had its civilian aircraft transponder on) or which dots were descending (as for an attack) vs.

Instead, when the automated system was queried for information about the mysterious aircraft, it reported “descending” because that was the status of a different aircraft to which it had confusingly reassigned a number used by the navy to track planes: what was descending was instead a U.S. surface combat air patrol plane operating far away in the Gulf of Oman.

It’s militarily tempting to take all humans out of the loop to gain speed: in a dog- fight between a fully autonomous drone that can respond instantly and a drone reacting more sluggishly because it’s remote-controlled by a human halfway around the world, which one do you think would win?

Two decades later, on September 9, 1983, tensions were again high between the superpowers: the Soviet Union had recently been called an “evil empire” by U.S. president Ronald Reagan, and just the previous week, it had shot down a Korean Airlines passenger plane that strayed into its airspace, killing 269 people—including a U.S. congressman.

Whether it’s a terrorist wanting to assassinate a politician or a jilted lover seeking revenge on his ex-girlfriend, all they need to do is upload their target’s photo and address into the killer drone: it can then fly to the destination, identify and eliminate the person, and self-destruct to ensure that nobody knows who was responsible.

For example, he fears bumblebee-sized drones that kill cheaply using minimal explosive power by shooting people in the eye, which is soft enough to allow even a small projectile to continue into the brain.

If a million such killer drones can be dispatched from the back of a single truck, then one has a horrifying weapon of mass destruction of a whole new kind: one that can selectively kill only a prescribed category of people, leaving everybody and everything else unscathed.

And can one consistently claim that the well-trained soldiers of civilized nations are so bad at following the rules of war that robots can do better, while at the same time claiming that rogue nations, dictators and terrorist groups are so good at following the rules of war that they’ll never choose to deploy robots in ways that violate these rules?

If you can hack and crash your enemy’s self-driving cars, auto-piloted planes, nuclear reactors, industrial robots, communication systems, financial systems and power grids, then you can effectively crash his economy and cripple his defenses.

Orc Slavery Made Me Quit ‘Middle-earth: Shadow of War’

Players take control of a Talion, a dead ranger haunted and animated by Celebrimbor—the elf who forged the one ring.

The pair both hate Sauron and criss-cross Mordor killing his soldiers and building an army of orcs to take him down.

It's a great game with solid systems, but enslaving the army of orcs to hunt your enemies is the real draw.

He stopped me in the street and made a speech about how he couldn't die, and that no matter how many times I killed him, he'd just come back.

wanted him in my army but this was before I'd learned how to subjugate orcs to my will, so I slaughtered him in the street assuming he'd make good on his promise to never die.

After he tossed me to the ground, he told me he was older than the dirt below me and (once again) mentioned that he'd never die.

The bone galea was gone, replaced by a wrought iron mask enshrining his broken features.

tracked Horza through the forests of Núrn and found him near a cliff muttering to himself: 'When is my rest?,' he repeated in different intonations.

I pulled him close to me, dominated his weakened mind, put him in my orc stable, and immediately shut down the game.

Horza the Dead was a proud and immortal orc, an undead monster who chased me across the lands of Mordor and hounded me for hours.

In the Mass Effect series, players develop relationships with the NPCs and some of them die and sometimes it's your fault, but there's still a narrative remove.

They compare their relative traits, discuss what might make a good slave—I mean soldier—and then constantly belittle orc culture.

The advertising tagline is 'Nothing Will Be Forgotten,' live action commercials depict orcs lovingly caring for players years after they've stopped playing, and holding grudges for decades.

If we can believe people such as Elon Musk and companies such as Google, then we're on the precipice of human-crafted AI systems that are hard to distinguish from actual, flesh-and-blood humans.

I think about that every time an orc I've wounded or humiliated crests a hill, stares me down, and threatens my life.

Killer AI Defeated, Celebrated For Half A Century

50 years ago, on April 2, 1968, the film 2001: A Space Odyssey had its world premiere at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C.

Reflecting the mixed reactions to the film, Renata Adler wrote in The New York Times that it was 'somewhere between hypnotic and immensely boring.” The 160-minute film with only 40 minutes of dialogue went on to become “the movie that changed all movies forever,” as the poster for its 50th anniversary re-release modestly proclaims.

Clarke, who worked with the director Stanley Kubrick on the plot for the movie (and later published a novel with the same title), said in aninterview: Of course the key person in the expedition was the computer HAL, who as everyone said is the only human character in the movie.

Fortune magazine christened the project “IBM’s $5,000,000,000 Gamble” and billed it as “the most crucial and portentous—as well as perhaps the riskiest—business judgment of recent times.”… It was the biggest privately financed commercial project ever undertaken.

They were very primitive tools… yet they led to us—and to the eventual extinction of the apeman who first wielded them… The tools the apemen invented caused them to evolve into their successor, Homo sapiens.

At least until the whole system becomes sentient and figures out the nuclear launch codes… The fear that machines will figure out the nuclear codes and destroy their creators was called “absurd” by one of 2001’s creators who strongly believed, as we saw above, that they will indeed “take over.” Dismissing the “popular idea” of the malevolent AI killer he went on to co-create a few years later, Clarke wrote in Profiles of the Future: The popular idea, fostered by comic strips and the cheaper forms of science-fiction, that intelligent machines must be malevolent entities hostile to man, is so absurd that it is hardly worth wasting energy to refute it.

I am almost tempted to argue that only unintelligent machines can be malevolent… Those who picture machines as active enemies are merely projecting their own aggressive instincts, inherited from the jungle, into a world where such things do not exist.

Now, we face similar questions about the automated editorship of our searches and news feeds, and the increasing presence of AI inside semi-autonomous weapons… Should we watch out for superior “aliens” closer to home, and guard against AI systems one day supplanting us in the evolutionary story yet to unfold?

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