Immoral Code is a documentary that contemplates the impact of killer robots in an increasingly automated world – one where machines make decisions over who to kill or what to destroy. The film examines whether there are situations where it’s morally and socially acceptable to take life, and importantly – would a computer know the difference?
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The Immoral Code premiere
The technologies we’re worried about are limited. They don’t recognise people as people, instead they reduce living people to data points. Our complex and highly individual identities are lost, instead our physical features and patterns of behaviour are analysed, pattern-matched and sorted into profiles. Decisions about us are made by machines according to which pre-programmed profile we fit into.
Killer robots already exist. There are even adverts on YouTube for autonomous weaponised drones. They use the same technology that has proven bias.
In the rush to make technological leaps, we’re losing human control – these are machines making decisions over who to kill or what to destroy. Some countries are already using systems that can identify and select targets autonomously.
Proven biases and systems flaws are not safe. There’s currently a race to be first to integrate these technologies into weapons, with little concern for the dangers.
Thousands of tech experts and hundreds of companies working in the tech sector have raised concerns. They believe that autonomous weapons would be unpredictable and unreliable, vulnerable to hacking or spoofing.
Our knowledge of the remote biometric surveillance industry for example, tells us that increased performance and more ‘precise’ machine vision identification will be used to augment existing biases and discriminatory patterns that have already been demonstrated within AI and facial recognition systems.
Countries blocking a ban and the private companies supporting them are already competing with each other to develop new, ever more automated technologies. If left unchecked the world could enter a destabilizing robotic arms race.
We don’t want to remove the ability to protect lives, but that shouldn’t mean the loss of meaningful human control over such weapons. This would cross a technological and ethical line that would fundamentally change society.
We need your help to change the situation. A demonstration of public demand can overcome the issues faced in bringing about new international law on autonomy in weapons systems.
We have the opportunity to avoid unnecessary loss of life by acting now. States are discussing what to do right now – the world’s eyes are on them – make it clear what you want, what type of society you want to live in. Sign our petition here to make your voice heard.
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