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Humanist Archives: Sept. 26, 2019, 3:58 a.m. Humanist 33.276 - dystopia in current science fiction

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 276.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2019-09-25 10:50:39+00:00
        From: John Keating 
        Subject: RE: dystopia in current science fiction

Dear Willard,

I would recommend reviewing the “Slaughterbots" movie together with the
published discourse. I recommend these resources to my colleagues and students
and encourage them to question if what they consider to be software engineering
and computer science may, in fact, be just modern munitions development. It’s
interestign to reflect on whether we do or do not currently have the minimum
technologies you refer to in your mail.

A good starting point would be the Youtube Video:

Slaughterbots (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fa9lVwHHqg) is a 2017 arms-
control advocacy video presenting a dramatized near-future scenario where swarms
of inexpensive microdrones use artificial intelligence and facial recognition to
assassinate political opponents based on preprogrammed criteria (Wikipedia

Then follow up with the two pertinent IEEE Spectrum articles:


Why You Shouldn't Fear “Slaughterbots” (2017) IEEE Spectrum - A dystopian future
in which killer robots are massacring innocents is terrifying, but let’s be
clear: It's very much science fiction (Paul Scharre)


Why You Should Fear “Slaughterbots”— A Response (2018) IEEE Spectrum - Lethal
autonomous weapons are not science fiction; they are a real threat to human
security that we must stop now (Stuart Russell, Anthony Aguirre, Ariel Conn and
Max Tegmark)

Best wishes, John.

Dr. John G. Keating,
Department of Computer Science,
Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland.
(E) john.keating@mu.ie (T) +353 1 708 3854
(E) john.keating@nuim.ie (old email still working)

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