Noel Sharkey – artificial intelligence, Sheffield University, UK
This talk will examine developments in future robotics technology that could be applied to the protection of borders. The use of unmanned aircraft is already being used to identify border incursions and track ‘offenders’. And there are plans for the use of ground robots to intercept those crossing borders illegally. But this is just the beginning. The next generation of military robots will find their own targets and attack them without human supervision. Currently states are reluctant to give up such developments despite international protest. If they continue, it will only be a matter of time before autonomous robots enter service in the civilian world to help keep out ‘illegal’ immigrants. But in any discussion of the new technologies we must consider their potential misuse to seal us in.