Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Warrior Robots? Let's Be Careful What We Wish for...

From: The Star
Sheffield expert claims risk from warrior robots
"TERMINATOR-style robot warriors could soon be stalking the earth as a result of a new automated arms race, according to a Sheffield University boffin.
Professor Noel Sharkey, well known for his appearances on hit TV shows Robot Wars, believes the new generation of weapons being developed around the world pose a real threat to humanity.The robotics expert told the Royal United Services Institute he believed it would not be long before robots became a terrorist weapon to replace the suicide bomber.Many nations are now involved in developing the technology for robot weapons, with the US Department of Defence being the most significant player.According to expert journals the US proposes to spend an estimated $4 billion by 2010 on unmanned systems technology. The total spending is expected to rise above $24 billion.Prof Sharkey said: "The trouble is we can't put the genie back in the bottle. Once the new weapons are out there, they will be fairly easy to copy. How long is it going to be before terrorists get in on the act?"With the prices of robot construction falling dramatically and the availability of ready-made components for the amateur market, it wouldn't require a lot of skill to make autonomous robot weapons."
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