Posted On May 13, 2014 By In Buzzworthy, The Scene, Up For Debate

Killer Robots Are Our Future


I know everyone is really excited about the robot hype in Japan. Asimo is so cute and it’s super cool to watch him run and jump and do tricks! I know we humans are happy to think we’ll have extra robot hands help us around the house or at work, etc.

I’ve always wanted my own sassy Rosie to gossip with. And clean my house.

However, did you know the UN is currently debating whether or not we should have killer robots? And by killer robot I mean a fully autonomous weapon that can select and engage targets without any human intervention. So, RED FLAG. First question, HAS NO ONE WATCHED TERMINATOR 1-3, I, ROBOT, ETC??? You KNOW how this will end and don’t even try to tell me Hollywood is exaggerating.

Exhibit A.

Exhibit B.

Do I really need to go on? However, this subject is planned to be brought up at the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) with a report coming later in November to let us know what was decided.


Arguments in Favor of Killer Robots

As of now, we do not have robots with an autonomous kill function but with advances in technology we are very close to developing this. Those in favor of the bots believe the current laws of war may be sufficient enough to address any issues that arise if they were deployed. Oh yeah? Just curious, do the laws of war help to mediate a situation like this?

Professor Arkin from the Georgia Institute of Technology is in favor of killer robots and explains he hopes they would be able to significantly reduce the number of non-combat casualties and that they might be better in determining when not to engage a target than humans. He says, “[killer robots] could potentially exercise greater care in doing so”. Yeah, okay.


My Arguments Against Killer Robots

As if I didn’t emphasize this enough already killer robots are a terrible, terrible idea. My proof comes from the fact that my computer has a mind of its own some days. It randomly decides to shut off or open programs I never asked it to. Or some days my printer spits out gibberish just because. So clearly, machines can do whatever the hell they want. If we create a mass robot army who’s to say they won’t some day decide they do not want to take orders from us anymore? Or what if the thing malfunctions and goes on a killing spree? Bad idea, humans.

Another more important argument involves the whole idea of using robots in combat: Why in the world would we create robot armies to fight each other for us? How would this solve anything? If built strong enough for war, these things would go on for days, months, years without even damaging one another! What is the point here? Or, if they did mange to break each other, doesn’t that make war into one giant Battle Bots game? Aka for entertainment purposes only. Aakkaa: War=fun. Sounds like a great future…

How does this solve anything?

I think we’re missing the main issue here and I’m going to bring out my hippie self for this one. Instead of finding better ways to fight wars, why not spend the time/money/energy on finding solutions to the problems that cause war in the first place? This creates WAY less casualties. There would be no issues of “whether or not to engage” as Prof Arkin claims is such a problem. And best of all no robot armies with the potential to backfire/malfunction, kill off the entire human race and take over the world. World peace ya’ll.

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Renée Rapin is a writer for Writtalin. Renée is a UCSB grad and currently works as an event coordinator. She is a terrible speller and has an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs, wine, and reading. In her spare time she enjoys people watching, sweating at the gym, and planning for book club. Hopefully you find her worldly observations as entertaining as she does. You can email Renée at: [email protected]