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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Friday, January 3, 2020

Robotics researchers have a duty to prevent autonomous weapons

Christoffer Heckman
Originally posted 4 Dec 19

Here is an excerpt:

As with all technology, the range of future uses for our research is difficult to imagine. It’s even more challenging to forecast given how quickly this field is changing. Take, for example, the ability for a computer to identify objects in an image: in 2010, the state of the art was successful only about half of the time, and it was stuck there for years. Today, though, the best algorithms as shown in published papers are now at 86% accuracy. That advance alone allows autonomous robots to understand what they are seeing through the camera lenses. It also shows the rapid pace of progress over the past decade due to developments in AI.

This kind of improvement is a true milestone from a technical perspective. Whereas in the past manually reviewing troves of video footage would require an incredible number of hours, now such data can be rapidly and accurately parsed by a computer program.

But it also gives rise to an ethical dilemma. In removing humans from the process, the assumptions that underpin the decisions related to privacy and security have been fundamentally altered. For example, the use of cameras in public streets may have raised privacy concerns 15 or 20 years ago, but adding accurate facial recognition technology dramatically alters those privacy implications.

The info is here.