‘Ban the Killer Robots’ Movement Could Backfire

Daniel Castro November 13, 2015
November 13, 2015

Efforts to establish a global ban on offensive autonomous weapons—a.k.a. “killer robots”—have intensified recently on the heels of an open letter calling for such a ban from a group of artificial intelligence and robotics researchers, including well-known luminaries such as Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Noam Chomsky. Unfortunately, these efforts have stigmatized much-needed research on autonomous robots that will be central to increasing economic productivity and quality of life over the next half century—but only if the technology is able to be developed, writes Daniel Castro in Computerworld. Rather than allowing those predicting a techno-dystopia to dominate the debate, policymakers should vocally champion the benefits of autonomous robots—including in the military—and embrace policies designed to accelerate their development and deployment.