This fascinating documentary questions technological evolution, between opportunities and concerns

Today at 2pm – by
Yoann Jenan

Broadcast this Tuesday, January 30, 2024, at 10:30 pm, on Arte, Killer robots, weapons in the hands of AI questions the implications of artificial intelligence on security. An in-depth, alarming but necessary documentary.

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Recommendations on streaming platforms, autonomous cars, facial recognition, voice assistants… Artificial intelligence is increasingly interfering in our daily lives. Not really being supervised, it is progressing at high speed in all areas, starting with armaments. The strength of this documentary is not only taking us to the four corners of the world, but above all giving a voice to varied and prominent speakers. From the United States to China, passing through Germany, it paints an interesting and worrying global panorama, showing how AI is already revolutionizing 21st century conflicts. Now it remains to move in the right direction.

The arms race with artificial intelligence

The images of Russian kamikaze drones destroying Ukrainian infrastructure are, unfortunately, eloquent: States are increasingly using robotic technologies to gain an advantage in armed conflicts. SALA (for lethal autonomous weapons systems), which include dog-like “killer robots” that look straight out of the series black mirror, are the symbol of this change. Many European governments are reluctant to use them in the military domain. “The problem is that the rest of the world is doing it.”, explains a defense and security expert. Behind the scenes, an arms race has been going on for several years that has placed the United States, fearing that its adversaries will overtake it, at the forefront.

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Artificial intelligence to help humans instead of replacing them

Unlike conventional trackable weapons, these lethal AI-enabled devices are considered uncontrollable by experts because they rely on software that can be downloaded anywhere and by anyone. This accessibility and vulnerability encourages some to fight for its regulation. “We should have leadership and a kind of moral compass that would only develop things in a responsible way“, argues a robotics engineer who works on regulating these armed robots. Because the virtuous applications of artificial intelligence (such as disaster prevention) are countless. “We will help people build houses and produce food”, adds the technical director of a Canadian robotics company. The debate has just begun.

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