Before his death, famed physicist Stephen Hawking left us with warnings that Earth is headed for a “catastrophic ending” in the near future as a result of rising inequality fueled by robots that grow increasingly smarter by the day. Hawking’s dire prediction came as robots and artificial intelligence increasingly take over human jobs, the McKinsey Global Institute predicts some 800 million people around the world will be displaced out of their jobs by 2030 as a result of automation. Without jobs, we stand the risk of losing our relevance in society. This creates a scenario of misery and conflict with many people displaced and those with little to lose fighting to merely survive.
|Eventually, Robots May Take Over Crowd Control|
The topic of our future and culture always circles back to and is directly linked to the issue of jobs vanishing as automation and an army of robots march into our workplace. This can result in a future that takes on a very grim dystopian appearance. The fear of being replaced by a robot or seeing your job being outsourced or eliminated is on the rise. Rest assured when push comes to shove those displaced from the job market and only able to scrape by will find they are only given enough to ensure they remain docile and behave. If and when this becomes an issue conflict and violence will arise.
Thus far the efforts to thwart the development of new killing machines have mainly fallen on deaf ears. This is why we should all be afraid and why it is becoming easier to conjure up images similar to those projected in movies such as “The Terminator” where robots turn into mechanical killing machines that operate with a great deal of efficiency and embark on a 24/7 mission to eradicate human life forms. In a previous post, I questioned whether at some point a conflict that might result to mass genocide could develop in Africa where China has embarked on a campaign to grab natural resources at a time when the population on the continent is expected to explode in coming decades. History reveals many incidents of genocide but the efficiency of automating such killings increases the likelihood of many more.
|New Robot Weapons Are A Gamechanger|
The United Nations’ Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) has the task of shepherding 125 member states through discussions on the thorny technical and ethical issue of “killer robots” or lethal autonomous weapons which could engage targets on their own independently of human oversight and control. This is a subject that has attracted a fair amount of attention and pressure from NGOs like Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, which is backed by Tesla’s Elon Musk and Alphabet’s Mustafa Suleyman, which want to ban such machines outright but diplomats, lawyers, AI entrepreneurs, industry associations, and military personnel, as well as academics, will most likely set the guidelines. While the CCW provides a range of possibilities for controlling such weapons by either banning the systems in advance or just accepts their inevitability nothing guarantees that people will adhere to their decision.
An article in the Guardian emphasized that Elon Musk isn’t the only person who has envisioned a nightmare scenario where “killer robots” stalk through neighborhoods murdering innocents, even Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced concerns. As a matter of fact more than 50 artificial intelligence researchers from nearly 30 countries are boycotting one of South Korea’s most prestigious universities over concerns about its recent partnership with an “ethically dubious” arms manufacturer with the stated purpose to design and manufacture “autonomous weapons systems.” of course, The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and its partner, the weapons manufacturer Hanwha Systems, one of South Korea’s largest arms dealers, are pushing back against the boycott, saying they have no intention of developing “killer robots.”
|“Slaughterbots“ Are Death In A Small Package|
A huge area of growing concern is how drones might be used, a recent incident where they caused the closing of Gatwick airport over the holidays highlights this issue and why the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is asking Congress for more powers to combat against malicious drones that could threaten the U.S. Top intelligence officials are increasingly concerned about the use of transporting narcotics via drones by drug cartels and weaponized drones by terrorists but this is also a recognition that drones are becoming a powerful force that will shape our future for better or worse. More frightening than anything we have seen yet is the miniature smart drones sometimes known as “Slaughterbots” depicted in a sensationalistic short film at an event hosted by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. The film, which depicts a dystopian near-future menaced by homicidal drones, immediately went viral.
Again, it is important to always remember robots are under the power of those who control them. Whether robots function under artificial intelligence, governments, or are directed by people like Jeff Bezos who have been empowered by their position, to such forces the rest of us may rate low on the food chain. This should be a major concern to all of us as the killing ability of these machines continues to be ramped up. Many of the people viewed as leaders in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) continue to warn of the potential of creating a system that can go awry even when placed in good hands. A recent article in, The Cut, tells how a clever AI computer hid data from its creator to cheat at its appointed task. Depending on how paranoid you are, this research from Stanford and Google will be either terrifying or fascinating. It confirms, computers do exactly what they are asked, if not explicitly prevented from doing so, meaning you have to be very specific in what you ask them.
As stated in the first part of this series, totalitarian is defined as, relating to a system of government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state and by “the state” we mean those in positions of power. It would be wise to remember the government and many plutocrats see such subservience critical to their retaining authority and will in the future make every effort to add robots to their other weapons such as propaganda to control those at the bottom of the social and economic pyramid. In many ways, his huge financial investments in robots, facial recognition technology and his proclaimed desire to replace human workers at Amazon with robots makes Jeff Bezos and men like him the poster children of those who will benefit from the trend towards a totalitarian state.
The best description I ave ever read of Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, calls him the most crafty plutocrat alive and stated he purchased the Washington Post so he could shape America’s agenda. In fact, the empire Bezos is building has been greatly enhanced by using the long-trusted U.S. newspaper as a propaganda mouthpiece and a tool to propel his agenda forward. This is why we should all find it very troubling that Jeff Bezos is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board. This all dovetails in a creepy way with Amazon’s involvement in surveillance systems and digital “assistance” devices like Alexa. and may explain why as mainstream media and politicians rushed to blame social media for our cultural woes they left Amazon off the list of companies mentioned.
|Those In Power May Secretly Develop New Weapons|
With around seven and a half billion people living on Planet Earth today and 10 billion predicted by 2050 even feeding our population may not be easy, especially if climate change adds to our problems. This returns us to the prediction of famed physicist Stephen Hawking, that Earth is headed for a “catastrophic ending” in the near future. Throughout history, we have seen new weapons are often only revealed when those in power wish to make a statement. It is reasonable that in a scenario where it rapidly becomes clear the plant has too many people vying for dwindling resources that the huddled masses will be considered “the odd man out” and those at the top of the food change may decide the best way to go forward may be to cull the herd, of course, reducing the world’s population would all be spun to be for “the greater good!”
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Footnote; This is part-four of a five-part series that delves into how we are slipping into a “One World Orwellian Society” that removes our freedoms and relegates the average person into being nothing more than the pawn of the elites. The links to part one, two, and three can be found below.
https://Liberals And Conservatives Both Buy Into Orwellian Trend (Part-1).html
https://”Surveillance Justified” Expands Grip Of Orwellian State (Part 2).html
https://Orwellian Government Employing Robots Raises Concern (Part 3).html