The US military is attempting to find a way to program military robots to act in moral and ethical ways when they are confronted with conflicting choices.Specifically, the military is trying to create software that will try to insert “a sense of right and wrong into autonomous robotic systems.” This link examines this necessity in light of the fact that the advances in military robotics are occurring so fast that “the military is rapidly creating systems that will need to make moral decisions.”
The report states the USA currently “prohibits lethal fully autonomous robots.” However, as the report notes, the very autonomous and unmanned B-47B, an American weapons platform that operates as an aerial/space vehicle already “does an awful lot of things autonomously.” I think we can all assume that the X-47B is a highly lethal automated weapons platform, so there appears to be a large degree of semantics in what is called a “robot.”
The link presents the opinions of experts who have differing opinions on giving robots lethal powers and trying to control that lethality with “moral” software. One highly credentialed expert at Yale is quoted as stating: “We’re talking about putting robots in more and more contexts in which we can’t predict what they’re going to do…” That ought to make a lot of us feel more than a bit quesy. We are developing artificial intelligence in military robots, but we can’t always predict what they are going to do? Could this mean that, in the future, robotic soldiers or infiltrators could go out of control and provoke a war by killing a leader of a foreign nation? Also, keep in mind that we also need to be very concerned about hostile parties hacking into the “moral” or “operational” programming of future soldier/surveillance robots and “hijacking” them to cause damage or death in a classic “false flag” operation that would be very hard to trace. While the US military may be trying to build robotic soldiers with moral systems, other nations are surely doing the same research and development, and not every nation may be so concerned about inserting moral programming into their robots. Think of the havoc that could be wrought if one nation dropped hundreds of military robotic soldiers into the territory or capitol city of a hostile nation with programming that tells them to “kill every human being.”
Daniel 12:4 prophesied that in the “time of the end” of this age that “knowledge shall be increased.” As I’ve noted in previous posts and in articles, the Hebrew word “increased” in Daniel 12:4 is also used in Genesis 7:17 to describe how the waters “increased” over the surface of the earth during the global Deluge in Noah’s time. In other words, this prophecy foretells that an exponential increase in knowledge will occur in the latter days of our age before Divine intervention in human events. This prophecy is being regularly fulfilled in many fields of human scientific endeavor all over the world every year. The possibility of robotic soldiers being developed and deployed in the future may involve another biblical prophecy. Joel 2 is a prophecy about a great war in the latter days of our age just before the “Day of the Lord,” and it states in verse 8 that there will be an unusual army that does not die when they are hit by human weaponry. I had previously thought that this would be God’s angelic army which will accompany Jesus Christ to the earth at his Second Coming (Revelation 19:21-20:4) and I still do; but the information about the future development of robotic soldiers/armies gives us another possible fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy about an unusual army that is invulnerable to normal weapons.
When information like this comes to light, it always does beg the question: Are we being told the full level of current development of robotic soldiers or is the actual development much further along than we are being told? Another key question that is sometimes explored in ScyFy movies or books is:” When does an artificial intelligence system inside a robot become sentient (i.e. self-aware)? Perhaps I’m not the only person who, when reading this link, is reminded of the movie: I, Robot. Robots that become sentient may decide to disobey orders.
My thanks to a reader who tipped me off to this story.