Are we really going to be able to say that we lived in the age when autonomous, battlefield combat robots became a reality?
As reported by New Atlas, legendary Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov, creator of the AK-47, has announced that it will shortly bring such machines to life, quite literally.
The director of Kalashnikov Group Communications, Sofiya Ivanova, said recently that the company “will unveil a range of products based on neural networks,” and that this will take place in the “imminent future.” As a matter of fact, “a fully automated combat module featuring this technology is planned to be demonstrated at the Army-2017 forum,” said Ivanova.
Let there be no misunderstanding what Kalashnikov is doing. These are not simply drone-type mechanisms entirely beholden to the whims of a human controlling them from a remote location. The application of neural network technology to these robots means they will be able to learn from their battlefield experiences, a classic example of fully-enacted artificial intelligence (AI).
The weaponization of AI has been a concern of many for a long time now. As noted by New Atlas, back in 2015, an array of researchers in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence put their signatures to an open letter addressed to the United Nations, asking that body to ban the development of weaponized AI. It is believed, however, that any kind of formal ban is still many years down the road.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large