George Orwell Was Right After All!
George Orwell’s timing might have been off a little bit, but the whole concept of “1984” is playing out more or less as he had envisioned it. A Psychology professor once told us that if one wanted to see what the world would be like ten years into the future, one just had to read today’s poetry (well he could have meant prose too). His timing was also off, but here we are in 2014, looking at robotic wars for heaven’s sakes! Killer robots are on the horizon to fight wars in place of armies. No, I’m not kidding. Even the United Nations is meeting in Geneva for a serious discussion on the matter.
Mr. Cook’ll be turning over in his grave at this point. This whole robotic thing is a far cry from “The Charge of the Light Brigade” that he loved to read to his students with such gusto! And when Jesus said “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”, I’m sure the last thing he had on his mind was a bunch of engineering and science nerds taking over! He’d be totally shocked.
Can you imagine a robotic army having the intelligence to go out into the field and make up it’s own mind as to who will be killed and who won’t be? Well maybe. Israel and South Korea are already using a form of these killer robots to defend their borders. But somebody has to be able to put the intelligence and whatever else it takes into them for these machines to operate independently, right? So the question is: Who?
Well THAT”S the sixty-four dollar question isn’t it? You can’t tell me that there’s anybody with any kind of moral judgment gonna be in charge of THAT! The very fact that the U. N. is discussing it is an indicator. If you want to know about THEIR moral judgment, just ask Romeo D’Allaire. That’ll give you an idea of what this Geneva summit is worth. It’s just another one o’ those fireside chats meant to bamboozle the world an’ have no particular consequence.
Of course, these killer robots an’ their usage have dire implications and unimaginable consequences. For opposing forces and ideologies to sit down together in the first place is unseemly. And then to lay the ground rules down for the use of these things is even more remote, especially in a forthright and honest manner. It seems to me to be more of a setup for a spy mission.
The thing I keep thinking about though is that, supposing these free thinking robots develop a conscience of their own and turn on their creators, wiping out say, the U.S. congress or the Canadian senate or the British House of Lords.
Hey, wait a minute! Maybe this is not such a bad idea after all! At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.