US Army Wants To Convert Tanks Into Autonomous Weapons

There is a new plan being created by the US Army to build AI Tanks that are robotic and act as independent attack machines. 

This new initiative by the US Army suggests “another significant step towards lethal autonomous weapons,” warns a leading artificial-intelligence researcher who has called for a ban on so-called “killer robots.”

The Army Contracting Command has called on potential vendors in industry and academia to submit ideas to help build its Advanced Targeting and Lethality Automated System (ATLAS), which a Defence Dept. solicitation says will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to give ground-combat vehicles autonomous targeting capabilities. This will allow weapons to “acquire, identify, and engage targets at least 3X faster than the current manual process,” according to the notice.

Stuart Russell, a professor of computer science at UC Berkeley and a highly regarded AI expert, says he is deeply concerned about the idea of tanks and other land-based fighting vehicles eventually having the capability to fire on their own.

“It looks very much as if we are heading into an arms race where the current ban on full lethal autonomy”, a section of the US military law that mandates some level of human interaction when actually making the decision to fire,” will be dropped as soon as it’s politically convenient to do so,” says Russell.

In 2017, Russell appeared in a video, (which is definitely worth seeing), that described a dystopian future brought on by autonomous military weaponry that activists say would “decide who lives and dies, without further human intervention, which crosses a moral threshold.”

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a coalition of non-governmental organizations working to ban autonomous weapons and maintain “meaningful human control over the use of force,” cautions that letting machines select and attack targets could lead the world into “a destabilizing robotic arms race.”

CSI Edited    Quartz

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