2014: When it all began

A century after the first World War, Mankind has found the best way to kill itself ever

The Matrix, Terminator, I Robot… For decades the “Evil deadly robots” plot has frightened us, or has turned us on for the nerdiest of us.  We could assume that such movies would have impressed us enough to stop us from creating robots able to open fire on human beings in a completely autonomous way. In facts, if you are part of the “Big Family of United States’s foes” or even if you have been enrolled by force to serve Kim-Jong-Un’s glory, you might soon encounter one of these charming LARs, or Lethal Autonomous Robots. Indeed, the north-American and south-Korean governments have set the green light for development and deployment in the army of these cousins of your highly-non-violent MacBook.

To those of you who’d think It “would actually be pretty awesome to have killer robots in our troops” Captain Jack sincerely bitchslaps you and send you back to your geeky fantasies. Actually, incorporating such LARs in the army would be dreadful:

– Because introducing such machines would lead to firing numerous soldiers and then our dearly beloved president would be sad again

– Because if LARs have the same battery running time as your Macbook, we’ll have to finish the war by hitting each other with ball pens (since all the veterans will have been fired)

– Because if we fight through interposed robots, Japan will dominate the world in about two seconds

– Think about the number of times an “autonomous” food dispenser scammed you. But instead of lost quarters, you’d find 45 bullets in innocent civilian’s chests

– Because it sets an ethical problem as big as yo momma’s butt.

For those of you who may have already sold their heart in order to pay for the tuition I will give more specific details about that last point. Yeah, war sucks. But History teaches us that sometimes, it is inevitable if not necessary. Many reasons can lead to the killing of a man. Some of them are understandable, some others are not. But is that a reason to lower the price of human life to the reach of a simple detection algorithm, similar to the one who lights up your bathroom with just a single move of yours? Should we put the machines on a divine pedestal, by letting them “decide” who will live and who will feed the vultures? Should the answer of these interrogations be “Yes”,  we would deserve to be locked up forever in the Matrix.
Seriously, we would trust a transistor heap to decide if our human neighbor is going to live or die, but we still have to do maths because “machines can be wrong”? This planet is doomed for good.

Axel Guillermard

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